Community members and the family of a 37-year-old black man named Derrick Jones are gathering in Oakland near his barber shop on Bancroft and Seminary this afternoon to protest his shooting death at the hands of Oakland police officers on Monday.
According to police, they responded to a call that Jones was beating and choking his ex-girlfriend at the barber shop he’d owned for eight years. When they approached, Jones took off. Police shot Jones several times in his chest after they said they saw Jones reach repeatedly for his waistband. Officers said they saw a “metallic object” at his waist, and then killed him. Jones was unarmed.
Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts told KGO that his officers needed better training to determine what people were doing before deciding to shoot them.
“I do want to focus on the fact that we need to better ourselves as dealing with people going for waistbands, going into clothing, going into different aspects and make sure we give officers the proper training to address these things,” Batts said.
Oakland police are defending the incident, and promising a thorough and transparent investigation.
“If this happened how the officers say it did, it doesn’t make sense,” civil rights attorney John Burris told the Oakland Tribune. “I can’t imagine a person who’s trying to get away from police, running full speed, doing all he can to get away, he stops and gets stuck at the fence.”
“Then puts his hand in a place where any black man knows you never do with cops, reaches to his waist band and has no weapon there… It just doesn’t make sense.”
Burris said the Jones family had gotten in touch with him, and he had interviewed two eyewitnesses who dispute the police version of the events.
Jones was on parole for a gun violation, and had previously been arrested for drug possession and domestic violence. The officers who shot him did not know that at the time of the killing. Jones was the father of a one-year-old daughter.