Tracy police release bodycam footage of officer shooting knife-wielding teen
(Tracy police did a bad job in editing)
Bodycam video was released Tuesday of a Tracy police officer shooting a 17-year-old who was armed with a knife.
The officer-involved shooting is one of just three in the last twenty years at the Tracy Police Department. The chief of police said, in this instance, the officer on scene had no choice but to fire his gun.
The officer can be heard repeatedly saying "put down the knife" before firing two shots. At least five times, Tracy Police Officer Carlos Ramirez ordered a 17-year-old suspect to drop his weapon while the teen was walking toward the officer with the large knife in hand. The gunshots struck the teen in both the arm and abdomen.
"Officer Ramirez was acting within department protocol," Tracy Police Chief Sekou Millington said.
Chief Millington said officers are fully equipped to use non-lethal force, but in this case, that was not possible.
"The initial officer arrived at the scene and was faced with a challenge and did not have time to react to consider a taser," Millington said.
Ring video camera from a neighboring home captured the tense moments that prompted a call to 911 by a neighbor. This was minutes before Officer Ramirez arrived on the scene. Police say the video shows a fight between the subject and his own family.
"It started with the brother. [It] carried on to a fight with the father. You can see in the video the subject strikes the mother, strikes the sister, and strikes at the father with the knife," Millington said.
Millington also addressed the language barrier, as it's clear in the video those involved speak little English.
"There is a language barrier. There is no doubt about that. I think the universal language of uniform, police car, weapon drawn, no matter where you are from, is understood as do not approach with a deadly weapon," the chief said.
Officers also wanted to clear the air on rumors being spread that no medical care was given to the subject once shot. Video shows the officer on scene rendered aid until an ambulance arrived and took over.
"We have disproven that by watching the video and looking at the role all of the officers take," Lt. Mario Ysit said. "Our officers placed a tourniquet on an injured arm and provided direct pressure to another injury. So we did provide that care."
Tracy police said the teen is stable in the hospital as of Tuesday night. Though official charges have not been filed, police say they will recommend charges of assault with a deadly weapon to the district attorney.