Oakland officers fired for death of homeless man, though investigations ‘exonerate’ them


WARNING: The contents of this video are graphic

OAKLAND (KRON) – After five separate investigations cleared the use of force by four Oakland police officers, the department is still going ahead with its decision to fire those involved.

“This is outrageous,” said Barry Donelan, Oakland Police Officers’ Association President. “These police officers responded to a citizen’s call for help concerning an armed suspect in their neighborhood. The officers tried to defuse the situation, but the armed suspect engaged our officers putting their lives and the lives of our residents in danger. The Police Commission ignored these facts and a multitude of investigations to reach a predetermined and unjust outcome.”

Investigations by the Citizens Police Review Agency, Oakland’s Police Commission, Internal Affairs Division, and Executive Force Review Board as well as the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office looked into an incident involving the shooting and death of Joshua Pawlik on March 11, 2018.

Officers responded to a call on the 900 block of 42nd Street of an unconscious man with a gun on his lap. A video released by OPD shows that after waking Pawlik, and repeated attempts to drop his weapon, Sgt. Francisco Negrete, and officers William Berger, Brandon Hraiz, and Craig Tanaka opened fire with multiple shots.

John Burris, a civil rights attorney, filed a wrongful death claim and said in February, “The outrageous component of this to me is that you awaken a person from sleep and they make a human movement — like ‘where am I’ in response to the noise and they are shot. They are killed.”

31-year-old Pawlik was a transient in the Bay Area and originally from Virginia who had a history of mental illness, according to Burris.

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