The use of force by law enforcement personnel is a matter of critical concern, both to the public and to the law enforcement community. Officers are involved on a daily basis in numerous and varied interactions and, when warranted, may use reasonable force in carrying out their duties. Officers must have an understanding of, and true appreciation for, their authority and its limitations. This is especially true with respect to overcoming resistance while engaged in the performance of law enforcement duties.
The Hayward Police Department is committed to releasing officer body-worn camera footage of incidents in which Hayward police officers discharge service weapons in the line of duty. The footage will be released as soon practically possible and as incident investigations allow.
The Department recognizes and respects the value of all human life and dignity without prejudice to anyone. Vesting officers with the authority to use reasonable force and to protect the public welfare requires monitoring, evaluation and a careful balancing of all interests. The Hayward Police Department objectively reviews and evaluates all reportable uses of force and reportable show of force incidents.
This department conforms to the Alameda County Officer Involved Shooting Protocol for investigating officer-involved shootings. Officer involved shootings and in-custody deaths are investigated in a thorough, fair and impartial manner.
In the event of an officer-involved shooting, the Hayward Police Department is responsible for the criminal investigation of the suspect's actions. In addition, the District Attorney's Office conducts an independent investigation examining the lawfulness of the involved officers’ actions. The Department’s Internal Affairs Unit, which reports directly to the Chief of Police, also conducts an administrative investigation to determine conformance with Department policy.
In addition, on Nov. 5, 2019, the Hayward City Council unanimously adopted a policy directing the City Manager to request of the California Attorney General an independent investigation of any fatal use of force by Hayward police.
The reasonableness of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight. The calculus of reasonableness must embody allowance for the fact that police officers are often forced to make split-second judgments - in circumstances that are tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving - about the amount of force that is necessary in a particular situation. The test of reasonableness is not capable of precise definition or mechanical application. The force must be reasonable under the circumstances known to the officer at the time the force was used. Therefore, the Department examines all uses of force from an objective standard, rather than a subjective standard. See Graham versus Connor, 490 U.S. 386 (1989).
On June 1, 2020, Hayward police officers responded to the CVS Shopping Center located at 26059 Mission Blvd upon receiving a 911 call that people were looting at the CVS pharmacy. The 911 caller also said they heard possible gunfire. Multiple officers responded and began to detain two men in a parked car. Suddenly, several other cars began to leave the parking lot at a high rate of speed. One of those cars, a Gold, Ford Flex made a U-turn and drove directly at one of our officers standing outside of his patrol car. Believing he was going to be intentionally hit or killed by the vehicle, Officer Samuel Tomlinson discharged his service weapon at the driver to stop the threat. The vehicle veered away from the officer and continued past him. Officer Stephen Akacsos then fired his weapon at the driver as he believed his partner had either been shot or struck by the vehicle. As a result of the shooting, the driver, a 17-year old male from Stockton, was struck. The vehicle crashed and the driver ran and hid in nearby bushes where he was located a short time later. The driver sustained what was described as a grazing wound by medical staff, treated, and released from a local hospital. The driver was arrested for Assault with a Deadly Weapon on a police officer and booked at the Juvenile Justice Center. The charging Juvenile DA released the suspect from custody pending submittal of the completed investigation. Three other people were taken into custody in connection to this incident.
22000 Block of Wildwood Street (map)
On May 20, 2020 the Hayward Police Department Special Duty unit was on the lookout for 23-year-old, Stoney Ramirez who was a person of interest in the May 1st homicide of a homeless Hayward man.
Stoney Ramirez was also on searchable felony probation for an assault that resulted in great bodily injury.
Officers had reason to believe Mr. Ramirez might be at a residence on Wildwood Street and when they arrived, they found parked in the driveway in a white vehicle later determined to be stolen. Officers believed, based on prior information, that Mr. Ramirez was armed.
An undercover detective, Officer Kyle Martinez, and Officer Dynaton Tran pulled up and attempted to block the driveway with their police car. As can be seen in the body-worn camera video, Mr. Ramirez failed to follow officer’s commands and then repeatedly backed up the stolen car and rammed their police vehicle with officers standing nearby in the direct path of travel. In response, the three officers discharged their service weapons.
Officers worked to secure the scene and determine a safe approach to remove Mr. Ramirez from the car as they believed he was armed and did not know the extent of his injuries. Once removed from the driver’s seat, officers applied first aid until paramedics arrived. Mr. Ramirez was pronounced deceased at the scene. No officers were injured during this incident.
24600 block of Oneil Avenue (map)
On Nov. 15, 2018, Hayward police officers responded to the 24000 block of O’Neil Avenue upon receiving a 911 call for a man with a knife. Hayward police officers arrived to find 29-year-old Agustin Gonsalez in the street. One officer exited his car and ordered Gonsalez to drop the knife. Those orders were repeated several times and Gonsalez advanced toward an officer while holding an object in his right hand. The commands given to Gonsalez were ignored; and at that time, there was an officer-involved shooting. Gonsalez was struck by gunfire and paramedics were immediately summoned to the scene. Gonsalez was transported to a local hospital where he later died. It was determined the object in Gonsalez’ hand had been a razor blade.