An Afghan refugee who was a former interpreter to the U.S army in Afghanistan was shot to death by San Francisco police on Friday, U.S media reported.
41-year-old Ajmal Amani, who used to work with the US military forces back in Afghanistan, was traumatized, his case manager and property owner told the San Francisco Chronicle.
He was shot in the stomach and his leg while he was screaming at people around him with a knife in hand.
Amani was charged with assault with a deadly weapon in 2019 for allegedly slashing a city park ranger with a box cutter who said he appeared to be in an “altered mental state.”
Amani was ordered to undergo mental health diversion which he completed this year and was living in a city-rented room at the residential hotel.
The video footage released on Wednesday shows that a police officer is shooting a knife-wielding man in a residential hotel.
According to body camera video, the officers remain in the corridor and try to talk to Amani, who is in a room. Amani swears and tells them to leave him alone and one officer says “nobody wants to hurt you.”
Less than a minute later, Amani charges down the hallway and is shot after an officer shouts: “Stay there! Stay there!”
Police said Amani was holding a knife with a 6-inch blade. He was shot four times with a handgun and three times with bean-bag projectiles.
As Amani lay on the ground, still moving, more officers arrived. They waited several minutes to cautiously approach him, then handcuffed him and used CPR and a tourniquet on him before paramedics arrived.
At a virtual town hall meeting where the video was released, Police Chief Bill Scott said his department and prosecutors were investigating the shooting. Scott said he had personally offered condolences to Amani’s family.
Scott Grant, a deputy public defender who represented Amani, said he was “utterly devastated” by his death.
Grant said Amani “suffered incredible trauma” and violence during his time with U.S. forces. “His tragic death is a failure of our systems of government here to support somebody who risked his life to support this country,” Grant told KTVU-TV.
This comes as a large number of Afghan emigrants whose lives were at risk in Afghanistan have been taken to the United States in hundreds of US Airforce flights.
According to the reports, around 54,000 Afghan refugees are camped in 8 military bases in the United States and are facing a slow resettlement process.— Agencies