Watch: Video shows suspect point gun at officers during standoff in parking garage

Sacramento PD deployed a drone to gain a better visual of the suspect who was standing in a corner; video shows him pointing a gun at the officers

By Molly Jarone
The Sacramento Bee

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento Police Department released body-worn camera video footage Wednesday showing the events leading up to the shooting death of an armed man Sept. 12 in a downtown parking garage.

The release of footage, which included a compiled and narrated video, contains nearly 45 minutes of surveillance and drone footage, as well as body-worn camera imagery from four Sacramento police officers.

It gives a glimpse inside the four-and-a-half-hour standoff between Cleavon Miles, 36, and officers in the early morning hours near Downtown Commons, one of Sacramento’s most popular shopping destinations known as DoCo.

The standoff stemmed from a 911 call at 1 a.m. reporting a man trying to get into the Citizen Hotel about a mile east at 10th and J streets. Hotel security guards prevented the man’s entry and then reported to a 911 dispatcher that they saw the man pull an object from his pants and heard a subsequent gunshot.

A second 911 caller, a security guard at the nearby Downtown Commons parking garage at Third and L streets, reported to a dispatcher that a man matching the description from the disturbance at the Citizen Hotel had pointed a gun in his face, according to audio provided by the agency.

“I came out the elevator and that s--- is in my face, and I’m thinking it might be a pipe at first and then from the side, it looked like definitely a revolver,” the security guard told an officer in one of the video.

The security guard earlier reported to the dispatcher that the armed man said “come mess with me” and “come any closer” while brandishing the firearm at him and his partner, according to dispatcher audio included in the release.

Officers at the scene used their patrol vehicles to create cover as they tried to contact Miles. An officer can be heard saying “yo, he’s pointing something at us.”

A second officer can be heard saying “drop what’s in your hand, sir. Sir, can you drop the gun? Drop the gun and put your hands in the air. We’re here to help, we’re here to resolve this peacefully.”

Police deployed a drone to gain a better visual of Miles as he stood atop a concrete stairwell enclosure in the northeast corner of the parking garage. Drone footage shows him sitting on the enclosure and moving to inspect the stairwell beneath him, using a cellphone or flashlight to illuminate the area.

At least two gunshots can be heard on the bodycam footage.

SWAT officers on the northwest corner of the garage set up an area of cover where an officer armed with a rifle and sight kept a visual on Miles.

In a video narrated by Sgt. Carlos Martinez, a spokesman for the department, Martinez says SWAT officers formulated a plan to move a public address system beyond their position of cover to better communicate with Miles.

When a SWAT officer moves from cover to place the PA system, a side-by-side video shows Miles allegedly standing at the same time.

Within one second of the officer moving from behind a concrete pillar, the SWAT officer armed with the rifle can be heard saying “pointing the gun” and firing one round from his rifle, a video shows.

Footage from the drone video shows Miles standing and holding the gun in his right hand, but it is not clear if he raised it in the SWAT officer’s direction before he was shot.

Miles falls the ground and thrashes for a few seconds before officers and paramedics rendered medical aid. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

This incident is being investigated by the Sacramento Police Department’s Homicide Unit, Internal Affairs Division, and Professional Standards Unit,” the Police Department said in a news release. “The Office of Public Safety Accountability and the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office are providing oversight by monitoring the investigation.”

The video release is mandated by the City Council’s policy on police use of force and Senate Bill 1421, which requires disclosure of police records pertaining to incident of great bodily injury within 30 days.

The Bee’s Ishani Desai contributed to this story.

©2023 The Sacramento Bee.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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