From [HERE] The mother of a black man shot to death by five San Francisco police officers in 2015 is set to receive $400,000 to settle a wrongful death lawsuit.
The Dec. 2, 2015, shooting of Mario Woods was captured by bystanders recording with cell phone cameras from multiple angles. It led to a federal review of SFPD tactics and the eventual resignation of former Police Chief Greg Suhr. A last-minute settlement was reached in March of this year, just a few days before the federal lawsuit brought by Woods' mother Gwendolyn Woods was set to go to trial.
The settlement amount was disclosed Monday in a city Board of Supervisors agenda, and it must be approved by vote of the board before it is finalized.
Mario Woods, 26, had allegedly fought with and stabbed another man, Marcel Gardener, in the arm earlier in the day. Gardener drove himself to the hospital, according to his deposition in the civil case, and he reluctantly described Woods to a sheriff's deputy there.
SFPD officers Charles August and Brandon Thompson found Woods waiting at a bus stop on 3rd Street in the city's Bayview District shortly after 4 p.m., and Woods pulled his knife, according to the officers' depositions.
Woods was killed on Dec. 2, 2015, when five white officers fired 27 bullets at the knife-wielding suspect – hitting him 21 times – after less lethal beanbag rounds failed to subdue him.
A video of the San Francisco police shooting "casts doubt" on officers' accounts that a black man was moving quickly toward them when they shot, a federal judge wrote in a court ruling in October.
The police department initially said Woods had lunged at an officer with a 13-inch kitchen knife before he was shot, but cellphone videos and some eyewitnesses contradict that version of events.
Officers found him standing at transit stop. Several officers surrounded Woods in a semicircle and shot him with "non-lethal" rubber bullets after they said he refused to drop a knife, according to depositions.
Videos taken by bystanders show Woods staggering out of the semicircle and sliding his right side against a wall as he tried to walk away and one of the officers scurrying to get in front of him.
At that point, five officers shot Woods a combined 21 times.
The officers testified that they believed Woods was walking quickly toward the officer who was trying to cut him off and that's why they fired.
"Videos cast doubt on the officer accounts that Woods was moving quickly or speeding up when officers shot him," Orrick wrote. "They seem to show him take four slow steps with his right shoulder up against the building, walking with a heavy limp. The knife was in Woods' right hand, on the building side."
Woods’ mother insists her son was in the midst of a mental health crisis and that officers failed to follow their training and use de-escalation tactics before resorting to lethal force.
The shooting sparked series of protests, leading to a federal review of the San Francisco Police Department and changes to its training guidelines and use-of-force policies.
Jury selection for the two-week trial was set to begin Friday, and the trial was scheduled to commence April 1.
District Attorney George Gascón called Woods' killing "disturbing" and "unnecessary" but declined to file criminal charges against the shooting officers in May 2018.
Gwendolyn Woods said at the time that it was like Gascón had "executed him all over again."
"They saw him as nothing or nobody, or that nobody loved him," Gwendolyn Woods said a few days after the district attorney's decision. "Let me tell you, I loved that kid and he was worth me fighting for. He was the best of me."