Society

Police Kill Woman Carrying Power Drill, Confiscate Cell Phones of Witnesses (Video)

| by Michael Allen

Diana Showman was shot and killed by police in San Jose, Calif., on Aug. 14.

According to the San Jose Police Department, officers answered a call at Showman's parents' home where Showman was carrying an "uzi-type weapon."

Police say that Showman refused to put the "weapon" down and was aiming it at officers, noted NBC Bay Area.

San Jose Police Officer Wakana Okuma fatally shot Showman, who was actually carrying a black cordless drill (video below).

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Showman was taken to a local hospital where she died. However, her parents were not allowed to be at her bedside. They were both taken to a police station and questioned separately, a procedure normally done with criminal suspects.

According to her parents, Showman suffered from a bipolar disorder.

One of the witnesses to the police shooting, Andrew Payne, claims that police confiscated cell phones of all the witnesses, but he refused to give them his phone.

Payne's allegations were included in his Aug. 21 internal-affairs complaint against police officer Sgt. Teresa Jeglum.

"She told me, 'You either need to delete those photos or I'm confiscating your cellphone,'" Payne told The Mercury News. "I told her she couldn't do that, and then she reached to grab my phone."

"[The police] threatened to detain me if I didn't give them my [personal] info," added Payne.

He also says that Officer Jeglum later told him that she was trying to protect the other police officers.

"There were 20 people there with cellphones, and they harassed me when I didn't cooperate," Payne stated.

In the case of Riley v. California earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that "generally" warrantless searches and seizures of cell phones and digital contents during an arrest are unconstitutional.

"They can't seize and search cellphones of criminal suspects, so they definitely can't do that to someone in the street," Margaret Russell, a law professor at Santa Clara University, told The Mercury News.

"People may record even if it embarrasses or angers or upsets the police officer," added Russell. "But what does it mean to interfere with performance of a police officer? It is my hope that police officers will not simply accept, but welcome these recordings by the public. If they do, it will be a major step toward building trust between the community and the police."

Sources: U.S. Supreme Court, The Mercury News, NBC Bay Area