SFPD Mulling $50,000 Settlement For Bystander Shot During Pursuit

An innocent bystander who was shot by police in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood in 2011 could receive $50,000 in a settlement being considered by the city’s Police Commission at its meeting this evening.

Jessica Orozco and an Oakley man were injured in the shooting, which happened at about 2 a.m. on Sept. 17, 2011 in the 400 block of Broadway, police said.

Officers were chasing Jesus Paredes Rodriguez, whom they had witnessed allegedly conducting a drug transaction and who tried to flee after police patted him down, police said.

Police said that as he fled, Rodriguez, who was 20 at the time, allegedly pulled out a TEC-9 gun and pointed it at officers but didn’t shoot. An officer fired his service weapon in self-defense, missing Rodriguez but hitting Orozco and the other bystander, who were behind him in a parking lot, police said.

Orozco was hit in the right thigh and is still experiencing residual numbness in her leg, her attorney Edward Casey said today.

Casey filed a lawsuit on Orozco’s behalf in U.S. District Court against the city and county of San Francisco and the police officers involved in the incident.

Casey said the shooting wasn’t necessary because Rodriguez was getting rid of his gun and throwing it to the ground rather than pointing it at the officers.

“It’s something that happened that shouldn’t have happened but the officers felt the need to try to protect the public,” he said.

The case against Rodriguez is still pending in court, Casey said.

Police Chief Greg Suhr held a community meeting in the days after the shooting and said, “The department cannot feel worse about having two bystanders injured.”

Suhr said, “However, the alternative of having a suspect with this weapon … could’ve been a lot worse.”

The $50,000 settlement was reached in April but has to be approved by the city’s Board of Supervisors. The Police Commission is meeting this evening and will consider recommending approval of the settlement to the board.

The meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in Room 400 at City Hall.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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