Family, activists push for release of body camera footage in Martinez police shooting of 20 year old

It has been a little over week since Tahmon Wilson was shot and killed by Martinez police
Sunday, August 27, 2023
MARTINEZ, Calif. (KGO) -- It's been a little over week since 20-year-old Tahmon Wilson was shot and killed by Martinez police.

It happened outside of the Velvet cannabis dispensary in Martinez on Aug. 18 after police say their video alarm was reported to go off around 3:30 a.m.

Martinez police said one SUV fled the scene and shots were fired.

Police say a second car attempted to flee before crashing into a fire hydrant.

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Wilson's brother was also wounded.

"He had a front-row seat to watching it strike his younger brother in the back of the head," said Adanté Pointer, a civil rights attorney representing the victim's family.

Civil rights attorney Adanté Pointer, who is representing the Wilson family, says both men were unarmed and were shot at from behind in a car while leaving the scene.

"This is just a tragic, tragic, tragic situation that should not have happened if the officers had used restraint, followed their training, followed the policies and frankly just followed the law," he said.

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That's why he, along with a nonprofit advocating for victims of police brutality called "Together We Stand" are calling for the release of body camera footage, which under state law, must be released within 45 days of the shooting.

"We're looking forward to the body cam footage being released," said Sevgi Fernandez, Founder and Executive Director of Together We Stand. "Because unfortunately, in the past, the narrative that law enforcement gives, is not always what's happened."

The California Department of Justice is investigating the shooting.

In Martinez, it's caused a ripple effect for department staffing.

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Vice Mayor Mark Ross says the city's optimal staffing for the police department is 37 officers.

Up until last Friday, they had about 30-to-31 officers.

But after the four officers involved in last Friday's shooting were put on administrative leave, per protocol, that brought the total available police force down to 26-to-27.

"That has been alleviated with the help of mutual aid from surrounding agencies who are filling in some of the vacant spots, so we feel very comfortable with the level of staffing right now and the citizens of Martinez shouldn't be too concerned about that," Ross said.

And he says, just in the past 12 months, council voted to approve updated body camera equipment.

"That's going to help us get to the bottom of the facts, the bottom of the investigation, and we'll all find out what truly occurred," he said.

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