Bay Area/ Oakland/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on March 30, 2024
VIDEO: San Pablo Police Release Body-Cam Footage of Officer-Involved Shooting, Suspect Andre Smith ChargedSource: San Pablo Police Department

In a move geared towards transparency, the San Pablo Police Department has released body-worn camera footage from the tense officer-involved shooting that went down last September. The footage brings a harrowing September 8, 2023 incident back into the spotlight, tracing the actions leading up to the shooting of 44-year-old Andre Smith.

According to the footage and details released by the San Pablo Police, the saga began with a 9-1-1 call from a distressed wife at 1:39 p.m., concerning her husband's erratic behavior. Smith, said to be exhibiting signs of schizophrenia, had locked himself in a room at the Dover Avenue residence. Despite the police's attempts to communicate, Smith remained holed up. According to the San Pablo Police Department, the reporting party, fearing for how her husband might react to the police presence, expressed her concerns during the initial call.

Later that afternoon, at 2:52 p.m., the situation escalated when the reporting party reached out to 9-1-1 again. This time, she reported that Smith had left the room and was harassing her. Overheard in the background of the call, Smith made threatening comments towards police officers. When law enforcement arrived, they found family members, including children, still inside the house. The confrontation played out in the front yard with Smith at one point hurling brick pieces at the officers. Multiple attempts to subdue Smith using Tasers and bean bag rounds failed as Smith armed himself with a folding chair and metal pole, ultimately charging at the officers. A single bullet fired by an officer struck Smith in the upper right leg as he swung the pole, narrowly missing one of the cops.

Immediately after the shooting, medical aid was provided, and Smith was taken to a hospital where he survived his injuries. Post-recovery, he was met with two felony charges of assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer, and weapons enhancements. As it stands, Smith awaits his day in court, and the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office is spearheading the investigation into the officer-involved shooting, in collaboration with the local police. The officers involved in the incident had been placed on paid administrative leave, a standard procedure in Contra Costa County, but have since been reinstated for duty.

This video release is the latest effort by the San Pablo Police Department to maintain a connection of trust within the community it serves. As the case inches forward, all eyes will be on how the legal proceedings unfold and the implications they may hold for both law enforcement practices and the treatment of mental health crises in the community. The body-worn camera footage can be accessed on the San Pablo Police Department's official Facebook page.