Man Killed by San Francisco Police Was Former Afghan Interpreter for US Special Forces

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Police on Wednesday released video of officers shooting a knife-wielding man who charged at them in a residential hotel.

Ajmal Amani, 41, was shot Friday morning in the narrow corridor of the building on South of Market after threatening several people with a large kitchen knife. He was shot in the stomach and leg and died at a hospital.

Amani was a former Afghan interpreter for U.S. special forces who had been shot several times during more than five years of service and struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder, his former lawyer, his case manager and a property manager told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Amani was charged with assault with a deadly weapon in 2019 for allegedly slashing a city park ranger with a box cutter who said he appeared to be in an “altered mental state.”

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

Police were called to the hotel on Friday morning by reports that a man was screaming and yelling and had a knife. Amani’s case manager also called 911 to report that a co-worker said Amani was having “a really bad episode.”

On Wednesday, police released hotel surveillance video and footage from officers’ body cameras. They show Amani holding and gesturing with the knife, confronting two people, including someone who is fending him off with a broom, then walking past other people into a room.

When two officers arrive, the man with the broom tells them that Amani had threatened to kill him.

An officer tells the radio dispatcher that they can hear Amani screaming.

According to body camera video, the officers remain in the corridor and try to talk to Amani, who is in a room. Amani swears and tells them to leave him alone and one officer says “nobody wants to hurt you.”

Less than a minute later, Amani charges down the hallway and is shot after an officer shouts: “Stay there! Stay there!”

Police said Amani was holding a knife with a 6-inch blade. He was shot four times with a handgun and three times with bean-bag projectiles.

As Amani lay on the ground, still moving, more officers arrived. They waited several minutes to cautiously approach him, then handcuffed him and used CPR and a tourniquet on him before paramedics arrived.

At a virtual town hall meeting where the video was released, Police Chief Bill Scott said his department and prosecutors were investigating the shooting. Scott said he had personally offered condolences to Amani’s family.

Scott Grant, a deputy public defender who represented Amani, said he was “utterly devastated” by his death.

Grant said Amani “suffered incredible trauma” and violence during his time with U.S. forces.

“His tragic death is a failure of our systems of government here to support somebody who risked his life to support this country,” Grant told KTVU-TV.

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Posted by Bekah Lyons

"The simple step of a courageous individual is to not take part in the lie. One word of truth outweighs the world." Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

I was born and raised in the enigma known as "The Big Easy." There, rooted along the banks of the great Mississippi River between the creeping bayou and Lake Pontchartrain, I was conscripted on all things pertaining to human nature.  I am the quintessential southern woman, that is to say, I defy most could never accurately define what that label truly represents.  Brined below sea level where one respects; the haunts lingering about, the force of storm surge, the ethos of Mardi Gras, and the sanctity of generational family-I know what it is to belong to an organically diverse culture.

Early on in life, my career path serpentined and led to brief stints of living varied experiences as I indulged my passions for painting, musical theater, and the culinary arts. My young experiences evolved my purpose and honed my intuitive skills and I became a Medical Professional specializing in mental health with a focus on child/adolescent needs. After living decades in NOLA, and after hurricane  Katrina unearthed the realities of modern-day inner cities, I made the pivotal decision to relocate to where my family and I spent our summers in a quest to find security and civility in my life.

High up on one of the "grandfather mountains" I now perch in a Smoky mountain community in East Tennessee. Although, I would not trade my formative years in Louisiana, unfortunately,  that era of  America  is  no longer obtainable in the times we live - changing course was the best decision "Evah!"

I am a warrior  for freedom and truth , steeped in my ancestral history ,I am constantly reminded that stillness and introspection expands the mind and heart to possess a more nuanced understanding of all things in our internal and external world. We are all destined to bash ourselves against the rotted cultural rocks of humanity's unraveling until we recognize that a shared moral tone is essential for a free society. A healthy culture is one comprised of many unique people who offer shading and depth to the experience of living, yet all choose to accept basic truths that bind us all together-a societal moral tone. Intolerance  , censorship, intersectionality, cancel culture, apathy ,and ignorance will only groom oppression and tyranny.  Critical thought, differentiation, and dissent is your individual right granted not by government -and must always be protected, championed, and defended.

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