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VIDEO: DC Police Officer Shoots Man He Mistook For Suspect When Man Ignored Commands

Washington, DC – The DC Metropolitan Police Department (PD) released bodycam video on Friday of the officer-involved shooting of an unarmed man who was mistaken for the suspect in an assault (video below).

The incident began at about 10 a.m. on Feb. 10 when officers responded to a report of an assault in the 1300-block of Good Hope Road, SE, WTOP reported.

Officers interviewed the victim who told them that the suspect had approached her in her vehicle and insulted her and then hit her with a metal box and threatened her.

She told police she had followed her assailant when he fled and took pictures of him to show to the officers, The Washington Post reported.

The victim told police her attacker was an older man over six feet tall who was wearing jeans, a brown fedora hat, and brown loafers.

The police spread out to try and find the suspect, WTOP reported.

MPD Officer Alex Rosario-Berroa spotted a man he believed to be the suspect getting into a burgundy car parked at the curb nearby and approached the vehicle.

“It ain’t me, baby. It ain’t me,” the man wearing a yellow and blue jacket told Officer Rosario-Berroa through the vehicle’s window.

Then he waved the officer away with his hand.

Bodycam video showed Officer Rosario-Berroa radioed the dispatcher to confirm the description of the suspect in a yellow and blue jacket and the dispatcher confirmed the suspect was wearing a blue jacket, according to The Washington Post.

The officer then opened the door and told the man to get out of the car.

“It’s not me!” the suspect – later identified as 38-year-old Steven Shaw – told the officer. “What am I getting out for? It’s not me.”

The officer repeatedly told Shaw to step out of the vehicle, but the man refused, the video showed.

“Listen, just comply, if it’s not you, we’re gonna just find out,” the officer told Shaw in a calm voice.

But Shaw continued to ignore the officer’s orders, the video showed.

“Step out and stop reaching,” the officer ordered Shaw.

Shaw continued to argue with the officer and claim that he wasn’t involved in the incident.

The officer warned him that if he didn’t get out of the car, he would pull Shaw out of it, the bodycam video showed.

The officer reached over and grabbed Shaw by the jacket and tried to pull him out of the vehicle and then chaos ensued, with the suspect turning his back to the officer and appearing to be reaching for something inside the vehicle.

Then the officer pulled Shaw by his jacket partway out of the car before the suspect turned his back and pulled away, again appearing to reach for something inside the vehicle, the video showed.

“Stop reaching! Stop reaching! Stop reaching!” the officer yelled as he drew his service weapon and pointed it at Shaw’s back.

Then the officer tried again to pull Shaw from the vehicle but the suspect ignored commands and continued to turn away from the officer.

“Stop f-king reaching! You’re gonna get shot,” Officer Rosario-Berroa warned the suspect. “Stop f-king reaching!”

The video showed that was when he pressed the barrel of his gun up against the struggling man and fired once.

The driver of the car, Shaw’s mother, reached over and tried to intervene, The Washington Post reported.

“Don’t shoot him,” 64-year-old Dorothea Hoes told the officer in the video.

But Shaw had already been shot at that point, The Washington Post reported.

“He shot me. Why you shoot me?” Shaw asked Officer Rosario-Berroa as the crowd around the officer started to become unruly.

Bodycam video showed the officer dragged Shaw from the vehicle onto the sidewalk and placed him in handcuffs while he was waiting for backup and EMS to arrive.

Shaw was transported to the hospital for treatment, The Washington Post reported.

When medical personnel cut his clothing off him in the ambulance, they found drugs hidden in his clothing.

The arrest affidavit for Shaw said that 25 grams of cocaine were found in the suspect’s pants, The Washington Post reported.

It turned out that Shaw was not the suspect in the assault on the woman with the metal box; he just had the misfortune to be mistaken for her attacker.

Police later arrested 59-year-old Wallace Lewis in connection with the metal box attack on the woman, WTOP reported.

However, prosecutors did not pursue criminal charges against Lewis, The Washington Post reported.

Officer Rosario-Berroa has been placed on paid administrative leave while the officer-involved shooting is investigated.

MPD said the officer has been a member of the DC police force for four years and is assigned to the 7th District where the shooting occurred, The Washington Post reported.

Watch the incident unfold in the video below. WARNING – Graphic Content and Obscene Language:

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

View all articles
Written by Sandy Malone


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