A former Afghan interpreter resettled in California by the federal government was shot and killed last week after charging San Francisco police with a butcher knife and chanting “Allahu Akbar.”
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.
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.