SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA — A well known filmmaker and activist shot and killed an intruder who had made prior threats of violence against him. The shooting occurred inside his home and San Francisco police initially arrested him pending charges of murder. The District Attorney’s office decided to not file charges at this time due to the nature of the shooting. It is believed to have been motivated out of self defense.
“There was a shooting, and there was a death and it was in self-defense,” the filmmaker’s attorney said. “The person who was killed was an unwanted intruder making serious threats of death.”
Because this is San Francisco — and not nearly anywhere else in the country — someone defending himself inside his own home is almost considered a de facto murderer. The SFGate publication interviewed a legal analyst who reasserted that an individual has a right to defend himself inside his home.
Legal analyst Steve Clark said people have “a heightened right to self-defense if someone comes into your home rather than if you are outside your home. The law respects the sanctity of the home to a degree where you are allowed to use deadly force where elsewhere you wouldn’t.”
Thank goodness this filmmaker had the money to hire good legal council. If the average citizen had done almost precisely the same thing, he or she would have to fight to prove that defending his life and that of his family and property was justified.
The attorney on the case won’t allow the filmmaker to make any comment or potentially incriminate himself by admitting he pulled the trigger.
The suspected intruder is a felon with a history of violence. Marcus Polk, 45, had a prior restraining order against him after making credible threats of violence against the filmmaker and his family. He also threatened a former landlord after refusing to move out.
While the filmmaker does have prior felonies on his record, the use of deadly force in this case is not being contested upon that basis because the District Attorney acknowledges that being a felon does not preclude a person from using deadly force to defend himself.
For an already tumultuous event like being forced to defend your life from a violent intruder, we can see how complicated and expensive the legal process in San Francisco can be. Also, the presumption of innocence until proven guilty does not seem to be the general mentality of San Francisco law enforcement and investigation.
Let’s just hope that their laws and ways of doing business don’t travel too far outside of their jurisdiction.