Stockton, CA– Witnesses and relatives of a man killed early Wednesday morning by the notoriously violent Stockton Police are calling his death a murder.
The man who was killed, 35-year-old Matautu Nuu, was intoxicated and armed with a hammer when he was shot three times in front of shocked on lookers as well as his sister and 16-year-old daughter.
The incident was captured on multiple cameras by witnesses who watched the ordeal in horror. The killing came just hours after protesters visited City Hall demanding the resignation of Police Chief Eric Jones and the termination of certain officers who had been involved in some of the city’s many police killings over the years.
According to relatives, Matautu Nuu’s daughter called the police when her father got angry that she would not turn off the television. Nuu reportedly hit the television with the hammer and left the house. The family never expected the call to end up fatal.
When police arrived, Nuu was outside by a stop sign still holding the hammer which he was ordered to drop, unfortunately he did not comply.
“The family’s screaming, ‘He just has a hammer.’ The family is screaming to him, ‘just put down the hammer. Put down the hammer,’” a witness, who chose not to be identified, told FOX40.
At this point the police unleashed a K9 on the man, and witnesses say Nuu hit the K9 with his hammer. An officer moved in to recover the K9, and they claim Nuu turned the hammer towards the officer.
Two other officers proceeded to fire their tasers at Nuu. The department claims the dual tasers were some how ineffective and that is when Officers John Griffin and Jason Schaffer, both hired in 2013, opened fire, shooting Nuu three times.
His family who watched it unfold, insists that Nuu was falling from being tased and had dropped the hammer when the gunshots rang out.
“When they Tased him, the hammer dropped,” Kirisimasi Nuu, the Nuu’s sister said, who estimated that she was 10 to 20 feet away when the shooting occurred. “They didn’t have to kill him like that. The way I look at it, they murdered my brother.”
Neighbors of the family are backing up their claim and disputing the official story.
“He dropped the hammer after they Tased him twice,” 54-year-old Lisa Le who lives near by told The Record. “He dropped the hammer and then the police shot him three times in the stomach. We all saw him die. Even the kids saw it. They shot him for no reason.”
Similar to what happened in the case of Kajieme Powell, the man was allegedly yelling “shoot me” at the officers. This seems to be the one request by the public which officers will happily oblige.
Relatives and neighbors describe Nuu as a good man, who was trusted with their children and generally well liked. Many knew that he struggled with depression and alcohol addiction and claim to have seen him get drunk and “crazy,” but had reportedly never seen him get violent. They say that his struggle with alcohol was partly due to the death of an unborn child.
“He was a very nice person,” 60-year-old Lam Bun told The Record. “He took care of all the children, but when he drank he got crazy. He told me if he didn’t drink, he cannot sleep because he had a broken heart.”
The K9 was taken to an emergency vet with no severe injuries and no officers were injured during the killing of this man.