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Friday, April 1, 2011

DA's Office Can Prosecute Wheelchair-Bound Man Shot by Police, Judge Rules

Posted By on Fri, Apr 1, 2011 at 5:06 PM

click to enlarge wheelchairsign1.jpg

A San Francisco Superior Court judge ruled today that District Attorney George Gascón does not have to recuse himself from prosecuting Randal Dunklin, the man shot by police in January while he was sitting in a wheelchair.

Dunklin, whose case attracted heavy media attention after the shooting was caught on videotape, has been charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon against a police officer, interfering with a police officer in the line of duty, and misdemeanor vandalism.

He allegedly brandished a knife and stabbed an officer in the arm who tried to approach him. He also slashed the tire of a city-owned vehicle.

Dunklin, 55, is suing the San Francisco Police Department over the incident. The case outraged some advocates for those with physical and mental disabilities, and spurred a discussion of police procedures for dealing with the mentally ill.

Dunlin's defense lawyer had asked that the DA's office recuse itself from the case, since Gascón was chief of the SFPD at the time of the incident.

However, Judge Bruce Chan ruled today that the DA's office can proceed with the prosecution, and ordered that a preliminary hearing be scheduled.

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Peter Jamison


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