Mother of Man Killed by Stockton Police Still Looking for Answers

Stephanie Hatten speaks in Stockton back in July

By David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

Stockton, CA – A mother continues to fight for justice for her son, whom she believes was wrongly killed by police in Stockton in July of 2020.

Stephanie Hatten told a crowd, gathered in Stockton in July of this year for another victim of police violence, Shayne Sutherland, that her son, Antwaune Burisse “was in a surrender position” when he was shot and killed by police.

“No one understands the true impact of that murder on the loved ones,” she said.  “But what they further don’t understand is that you want us to shut up, go somewhere … if we didn’t have to ask you, why did you kill our sons? We could be at home with some recovery services and try to work.”

Hatten is an addiction specialist who has worked with probation and parole cases.

She is not a cop-hater.  In fact, she said, “My impression of law enforcement has always been highly regarded in a respectful manner, but as I see the display of these officers, it is in my opinion that their behavior is unbecoming of an officer and they are a disgrace to my city.”   

On the video we see a commander arrive at the scene, 30 shots are fired at a vehicle.  “We have movement, we don’t have compliance as of yet,” he is heard saying.  They are yelling keep you hands up and then said they are going to try “bean bags to get in the windows.”

According to police accounts, they were attempting to arrest Burrise on a murder charge and he was shot and killed after he accelerated in reverse in an attempt to run over officers.

Chief Jones told the media that they had information that Burrise “may be responsible” for multiple shootings in the area after he was released from prison in April and was wanted for a deadly shooting in June.

But the mother has a different view.  “He was crippled,” she said.  “It was taking him about three minutes to get to his car.”

She said, “He wasn’t trying to escape because he wasn’t aware” that the police were even there.

“I know that Officer Griffin was nowhere behind his truck,” she said.  “I know that he was shot with his hands up because of when I went to see his body, I seen the bullet holes up under his arms.”

She added, “I also viewed the car and I see exactly which bullets hit him and where they hit him.”

Moreover, she disputes even the account of the police that he was wanted for murder.

“There was never a homicide warrant for my son, never homicide charges ever being filed,” she said.  “All this went public to just create a narrative of a man who had just been released from federal prison.”

Moreover, she said while he did have a possession of a firearm on his record, he never had a record of any violence.  He was in federal prison for fraud.

Hatten told the Vanguard she met with the chief “and pleaded with the chief to rescind those things.”  She said that the reason they used force was because Burrise “tried to run over Officer Griffin and he rammed the police car.”

However, the video camera shows that he never made any effort toward Griffin and that Griffin was two cars over behind a police car with his gun drawn.  Moreover, Officer Epperson rammed Burrise’s car three times.

In the video you see the vehicle backing out and the police opening fire from several different angles—all the while yelling to watch the crossfire.

Hatten said that his wife had told him to move the car because it was parked in a stall that was not his.

She said as he turned to the left, “Epperson shot him in his head and Wells shot him in his back.”  She said “it was a bullet that went into his back that went into his lung.  They left him in the car for a long time and he literally choked on his blood in the car.”

“My heart is hurt that the truth has been totally ignored several times over,” she said.

Hatten argued all police had to do was to apprehend him coming out his door.  His condition was such that “he hasn’t run for 21 years, from a severe injury.  He has no balance, so he could have been peacefully arrested if that’s what they wanted to do.”

She noted, “I don’t know why they shot and killed Antwaune.  He never had a gun,” she said.  “Gun was never mentioned…  He was unarmed.”

The Stockton PD is not commenting further at this point.

“This is still an ongoing protocol investigation which is being reviewed by the District Attorney’s Office,” Stockton police said in a statement. “For the integrity of the investigation, along with pending litigation, we cannot discuss the matter at this time.”

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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