East Bay family accuses OPD of stonewalling

May 21, 2011 2:01:49 AM PDT
The family of a man shot to death by police officers says the Oakland Police Department is refusing to tell them what investigators have learned about that fatal confrontation.

Matthew Cicelski died on January 29 after officers shot him on Taft Avenue in Oakland's Rockridge District. Somebody called police saying a man was harassing people. Police arrived to find Cicelski was wearing camouflage and say he wouldn't drop what appeared to be an assault rifle, so the officer's fired. The man's gun turned out to be a toy.

"Our disparate need to know the truth is magnified by the discrepancies between the official police version of the events and what we now know, that police shot Matthew not only in the front, but in his back," said Justin Cicelski, Matthew's brother.

Oakland police have not responded to several requests by ABC7 News for a comment on the Cicelski's family's accusations.

The Oakland Police Department released the following statement: "We empathize with family members and understand their need for answers. It is our obligation to provide those answers by means of a comprehensive and thorough investigation; this investigation remains open and is being actively worked by our Homicide Division, Internal Affairs Division, and the Alameda County District Attorney's Office. We continually evaluate what can and can not be released and share what information possible. As we have done in the past, we will meet with a family representative when we are able to discuss without potentially compromising the investigation.

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