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A 20-year-old man is suing the city of San Jose, which runs the police department, after an incident where he was shot by an officer four times while trying to disarm a gunman, according to the lawsuit.
On March 27, K’aun Green was sitting in a Mexican restaurant when a man he didn’t know approached him. The man, who appeared very drunk, challenged Green to a fight and punched him in the face. A second man, who was apparently friends with the first assailant, pulled out a gun and pointed it at Green and other restaurant patrons.
Green’s attorneys say Green disarmed the shooter, but other restaurant patrons rushed Green and demanded he turn over the gun, according to the lawsuit.
Then “seconds after arriving on the scene without giving any kind of reasonable warning”, a San Jose police officer shot Green four times.
“Mr. K’aun Green is a hero! He saved his life and the lives of everyone else in this restaurant,” said Green’s attorney, Adanté Pointer. “Unfortunately, the police reacted badly and overreacted to the mere sight of a black man holding a gun, leading K’aun to pay the price for the officer’s rash decision with his blood. ”
The San Jose Police Department did not respond to NPR’s request for comment. Police Chief Anthony Mata said body camera footage would be revealed in the coming weeks.
“The two groups got involved in a verbal argument that escalated into a physical fight,” Mata said in a press conference two days after the fight.
He said officers believed it was an active shooter situation and approached the restaurant during the fight. Mata says officers gave repeated warnings to drop the weapon.
Green, a football player from nearby Contra Costa College, was rushed to a nearby hospital and underwent emergency surgery; he suffered injuries to his abdomen, leg and arm, the lawsuit says, and does not know if he will be able to continue his athletic career.