Paul Stewart was on his cellphone negotiating with the police when Officer Stephanie Rabey shot him in the back of the head without warning last August, police records have confirmed this morning.
Records associated with Stewart, who was sentenced to ten years in jail last week, have been kept under wraps since August 2007, when the shooting occurred. This morning, however, the Mercury was able to review almost 200 pages of those records at the Police Bureau's central precinct headquarters [a copy of all the records to take away would have cost $140, and my overdraft wouldn't allow it...]
The documents make it clear that Stewart was on his cellphone to Acting Lieutenant and Incident Commander David Golliday when he was shot. Stewart told Golliday "I'm changing my clothes" and "I'm putting some clothes on," before Rabey shot him, Golliday told investigators.
"So I don't know, I'm talking to the detective, right? And I tell 'em, I'm like, alright, let me talk to you, know what I'm saying?" Stewart told the investigators. "So I'm talking to the detective and then I'm in the back of the room and I tell him there are people out there yelling at me, just let me grab some clothes, let me grab a coat, you know what I'm saying, i'm grabbing a coat, I'm grabbing a shirt, I'm gonna grab some jeans, and I come out, man..."
An investigator asked Stewart whether he had told this to Golliday.
"Yeah, I'm telling him that," Stewart said. "I'm telling him that on the phone, and the next thing I know, I was shot."
"Following the Raymond Gwerder incident, everyone in the Police Bureau should have known how important it for officers on the scene to communicate with hostage negotiators and incident commanders before pulling the trigger," says Copwatch activist Dan Handelman.
In a further development it also emerged yesterday that Deputy District Attorney Traci Anderson, who was prosecuting Stewart, was the same Deputy DA who decided not to pursue a grand jury against the officer who shot him.
"It's an outrage that the same person who is considering whether the police committed a crime in shooting this man is the same person prosecuting him for his alleged criminal activity," Handelman continues. "It goes beyond the ordinary conflict of interest in the District Attorney's office prosecuting the police."
DA Mike Schrunk is yet to return a call for comment.