Riverside police on Wednesday, Nov. 24, released an edited video that shows an officer kicking open a door and shooting an unarmed woman who had reported that there was a stranger in her apartment with a gun.
The woman was shot once in a shoulder and survived.
The shooting, on Sept. 20 in the 800 block of Blaine Street, is being examined by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Force Investigation Detail. As is policy, the District Attorney’s Office will review the officer’s actions to determine whether he committed a crime. The Police Department is investigating whether the shooting was within policy.
The department was withholding comment on why the officer fired, citing the investigation, Officer Ryan Railsback, a department spokesman said Wednesday.
Police Chief Larry Gonzalez, who narrated the video, said officers were called to the apartment complex at 2:17 p.m. The woman, whose name has not been publicly announced, told a 911 dispatcher that a man had walked into her upper-level apartment. Twice, she told the dispatcher that she didn’t know him. It turned out that the man, 29-year-old Resan Bingham Jr. of San Bernardino, was her boyfriend, Gonzalez said.
The video shows one officer finding a backpack with a handgun in it in the bushes below the woman’s apartment. Officers then go upstairs and three times knock on the woman’s door, announcing themselves as police officers and asking her to open the door. When she doesn’t answer, the officers debate whether to kick it open.
Just as one officer prepares to do so, the woman calls back the dispatcher and says that the man had left her apartment.
“So, where did the person go?” the dispatcher asks.
Simultaneously outside, the officer who would fire is heard on the video telling his partner, “(Bleep) it dude, we’re booting this thing already.” The other officer says, “Go for it.”
On the 911 tape, as the dispatcher finishes her question, two bangs can be heard — apparently the sounds of the door being breached and the shot being fired.
The video shows the officer firing an instant after he forced open the door. The video, with the camera pointing slightly downward, shows only the bottom half of a person wearing green clothing. It does not show what the officer might have seen above that. The woman can be heard shouting, “Oh!”
The officer has returned to duty after being placed on leave per department policy, Railsback said.
It turned out that the man was still in the apartment. Gonzalez said Bingham held the woman back until the sound of the officers’ knocking increased.
Bingham was charged with false imprisonment, dissuading a witness, being a felon in possession of a firearm and making criminal threats. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges, Superior Court records show.