Who is Roger Allen? Black Man Shot Dead by Daly City Police Officer

Roger Cornelius Allen, a 44-year-old Black man who lived in San Francisco, was fatally shot by a police officer in Daly City, California during a routine check of an occupied parked vehicle on April 7.

San Mateo County District Attorney Stephen Wagstaffe revealed Tuesday that Allen was shot by a Daly City police officer after they saw what they believed was a firearm in his lap. The weapon turned out to be a BB gun.

Few details about the incident had been released by Daly City Police prior to the district attorney's account Tuesday.

According to Wagstaffe, the incident took place April 7 on the 700 block of Niantic Avenue when an officer saw three people in a parked truck with a damaged rear tire around 2:30 p.m. and stopped to speak to the driver about possibly needing assistance. The officer was joined by another officer on the driver's side of the vehicle.

Two men were seated in the front of the truck, with Allen in the front passenger's seat, while a woman was in the back seat. While the officer spoke to the driver, two other officers approached the passenger side of the vehicle, where the front passenger door was open, Wagstaffe said.

According to the district attorney, the officers "saw what appeared to be a Glock firearm" on Allen's lap. The officers "yelled out there was a gun and Mr. Allen picked the gun up and held it in his hand."

Wagstaffe said a struggle ensued after one of the officers on the passenger's side leaned in and grabbed Allen's hand in a bid to prevent the gun from being fired. At one point the weapon was directed at the officer and driver on the other side of the truck and then at the officer struggling with Allen.

According to Wagstaffe, one of the officers on the passenger side "reported he feared that his fellow officer was going to be shot in the face," when he "saw the gun pointed at the face of the officer struggling with Mr. Allen."

Wagstaffe said: "He fired his service handgun at Mr. Allen twice, with one shot striking Mr. Allen in the chest and the other shot missing and lodging inside the vehicle."

The suspected firearm was actually "a replica handgun that was stamped with the word Glock" and is not a firearm, Wagstaffe said.

"There was no orange tape around the tip of the gun to show that it was not a real firearm," according to Wagstaffe.

Allen was administered emergency aid before being taken to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital where he died around 90 minutes later, according to the district attorney's account.

The driver and another passenger, who described themselves as acquaintances of Allen, were not injured in the incident. They were released after being interviewed by police. They have been cooperating with investigators, according to Wagstaffe.

There is no video evidence of the incident and "Daly City police officers are not presently equipped with body cameras," Wagstaffe said. It is unknown why police dash cameras did not record the incident.

The name of the officer who fatally shot Allen has not been released. He has been placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation, according to Wagstaffe.

He said Daly City Police has the responsibility of releasing the names of the officers involved in the incident.

In a statement on Wednesday, Daly City Assistant City Manager Stephen Stolte said: "The City is not releasing the identity of the involved officers at this time, as this case is under active investigation."

According to Wagstaffe, their names will be released in about two months, when the investigation is expected to be completed.

Allen grew up in San Francisco, according to his father, who said they last spoke about a month earlier. He said the district attorney's account of his son having a gun was "not like him," The Mercury News of the San Francisco Bay Area reported.

"I don't want my son to be forgotten," the father told The Mercury News. "He wasn't perfect; none of us are perfect. Other than that, he was an easygoing person."

Newsweek has contacted the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office and Daly City Police for further comment.

Daly City Police logo California 2017
The logo for Daly City Police in California's San Francisco Bay Area, pictured in November 2017. Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

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