Marin City experienced its first officer involved shooting in a nearly a decade, raising questions about whether this normally calm city is being affected by the crime surge in surrounding cities.
Last Sunday, a Marin County Sheriff’s deputy was on patrol when he saw 44-year-old Chaka Grayson. From previous contact, the officer knew Grayson was driving on a suspended license, according to the Sheriff’s office.
The deputy “noticed that Mr. Grayson ducked down,” the Sheriff’s office said When asked to show his hands, according to the official press release, “Grayson accelerated his vehicle towards the deputy,” causing him to fire several rounds.
The incident has caused tension in the community with residents requesting a thorough investigation of the incident. Bystanders who witnessed the shooting allegedly threw rocks, wounding the involved deputy.
A group of pastors who were on the scene made sure Grayson received the medical attention he needed while also working to decrease the rising tension from community members.
Rev. Rondell Leggett of First Missionary Baptist in Marin [City] said he was at the scene only to “try and keep the peace”.
“There were people there that were traumatized by the whole incident,” Leggett said. “There was a lot of attention and concern from residents, and I wanted to ensure it wouldn’t escalate.”
Leggett says Marin [City] is still a “safe place filled with compassionate people,” but issues surrounding healthcare, poverty, and the city’s deteriorating educational system fuel the community’s frustration. This officer involved shooting only heightens the anger.
“All of those things contribute to the tension,” Leggett said. “It’s going to take further discussion on both sides to sit down and talk about it.”
Lieutenant Bruce Baker of the Marin County Sheriff Department said comment could not be made on the incident but noted that the Novato Police Department is now handling the investigation.
Lt. Baker also said that in recent years the department has done numerous activities to build a stronger relationship in the community. Though not yet scheduled, there will be community meetings to discuss the matter, said Baker.