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Details, Video Emerge In San Francisco Police Fatal Shooting Of Ajmal Amani In SoMa Residential Hotel

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Police in San Francisco on Wednesday released additional details -- including body-worn camera video -- related to a deadly officer-involved shooting in the city's South of Market neighborhood last week.

Chief Bill Scott and other department officials held a virtual town hall Wednesday in the death of 41-year-old Ajmal Amani on Friday, Nov. 19th.

"Without suggesting a premature judgment on the appropriateness of the force used in this particular incident, I can express on behalf of all of us in our department our condolences to Mr. Amani's family, friends and loved ones for the loss they've suffered," Scott said at the town hall.

According to Commander Paul Yep, officers were called to a residential hotel on the 900 block of Folsom Street shortly after 8 a.m. Friday on reports of a man holding a knife. The caller said she could not stay on the phone because the man "has a knife to my face."

When two officers arrived, they found the caller and another victim who said he was also threatened with a knife. Both victims were determined to be employees of the hotel.

Yep said officers then walked towards Amani's room and found a man consistent with Amani's appearance at the end of the hallway, yelling and pointing at the officers, before moving back out of sight.

Video shows the officers then walked back towards the victims and established a position in the hallway, and said they wanted to talk to Amani.

Yep said at this point, one officer had drawn his department-issued handgun, while the second officer was armed with a so-called "bean bag weapon." The first officer then called for additional resources, which included an ambulance to stage nearby, along with a tactical shield, which the commander said was consistent with SFPD training.

About a minute later, Yep said Amani then stepped back into the hallway, screaming and brandishing a knife. He then charged towards the officers with the knife.

Yep said as Amani got closer, both officers fired their weapons, striking Amani, who fell to the floor. Amani was shot four times by the officer with the handgun, and three times by the officer with the bean-bag projectiles.

Videos show the officers asking Amani to talk to them, but they continued to maintain their distance. Minutes later, additional officers with a tactical shield approached Amani and secured the knife. Officers and medical personnel then rendered aid.

Yep said Amani was taken to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, where he was pronounced deceased.

The officer who discharged his department-issued firearm was identified at the town hall as Officer John Quinlan, while the officer who discharged the bean bag weapon was identified as Officer Danny De Leon Garcia.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Amani was a former Afghan interpreter for the U.S. Special Forces and had struggled with post-traumatic stress order. In 2019, Amani was charged with assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly slashing a city park ranger with a box cutter.

The newspaper reported that Amani was ordered to undergo mental health diversion which he completed this year and was living in a city-rented room at the hotel.

The fatal officer-involved shooting remains under investigation.

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