In a rare police apology Thursday, San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott apologized for a police shooting last week that injured a burglary suspect.
The man, 23-year-old Xavier Pittman, was shot in the wrist by a plainclothes officer as he was being arrested.
“The shooting of Mr. Pittman quite simply should not have happened,” Scott said during an online town hall. “I’m deeply sorry that Mr. Pittman was shot during this incident, and I would like to take this opportunity to apologize.”
The shooting occurred just before 1 p.m. Friday in the city’s South of Market neighborhood as officers were tracking three men they described as known burglary suspects.
Pittman’s attorney, Adante Pointer, told the San Francisco Examiner that Pittman was unarmed and already being detained when he was hit by gunfire. He said the officer had no reason to think his life was in danger.
“Essentially he was ready to be brought into custody, but then to be shot, unexpectedly shot, you don’t know what is going to take place at that point. … He was scared for his life,” Pointer said.
Pointer said the officers were putting Pittman in a control hold when he was struck. He said his client wasn’t struggling with police.
“He didn’t deserve to be shot,” Pointer said.
“Smash and grab” auto burglaries are a problem citywide, prompting officers to tell residents and tourists not to leave anything in view inside their vehicles.
The San Francisco Police Department and the district attorney’s office are investigating the shooting.