Lawyers for Wounded Black Student Seek Criminal Inquiries into San Jose Police Officer’s Racist Texts

Adante Pointer with K’Aun Green (right) at the press conference Sunday

by David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

Oakland, CA – Attorneys for a Black college student shot by a San Jose police officer in 2021 are asking local, state and federal officials to open criminal investigations after a trove of the officer’s racist and threatening texts with another officer were discovered.

Contra Costa College sophomore quarterback K’Aun Green survived after being shot four times by San Jose Police Officer Mark McNamara on March 27, 2022. A group of three intoxicated men had accosted Green inside a taqueria. One of the men pulled a “ghost gun,” which Green was able to wrestle away from him.

Green tried to deescalate the situation by backing out of the restaurant with his hands in the air, holding the gun pointing up at the sky. With their weapons drawn, numerous officers ordered Green to drop the weapon at the same time McNamara shot him four times, giving him no chance to comply, according to a federal civil rights lawsuit filed in the case. None of the other officers fired a shot.

Green survived the shooting and is on track to receive his AA degree this December before pursuing his Bachelor’s Degree.

“From the outset, we believed that McNamara’s actions in shooting Mr. Green were motivated by a degree of racial animus toward Black people,” civil rights attorney Lateef H. Gray said in the letters sent to Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeffrey F. Rosen, California Attorney General Rob Bonta and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland.

“These suspicions have now been confirmed by McNamara’s own words… These text messages, which are disgusting, vile and stomach-turning, reveal that McNamara’s actions on March 27, 2022 were motivated by a hatred of Black people,” said Gray, who is the managing attorney of the civil rights division at Oakland’s Pointer & Buelna, Lawyers For The People.

In a press conference on last week, Pointer detailed how the former San Jose Police officer bragged about shooting Green, repeatedly used the N-word to describe the victim and his attorneys, and said he would shoot the attorneys for accusing him of excessive force.

“Think I give a fuck what y’all nigs think?!???? I’ll shoot you too!!!!! AHHHHHH!!!!!!” Officer Mike McNamara wrote in a June 23 text exchange with a fellow officer following a deposition he gave as attorneys prepared a civil rights lawsuit resulting from the 2022 shooting.

“There was like 65 African lookin (sic) mother fuckers there too. All just mean mugging me and taking notes. They should all be bowing to me and brining (sic) me gifts since I saved a fellow nigga by making him rich as fuck. Otherwise he woulda (sic) lived a life of poverty and crime,” McNamara wrote in another text later in the conversation.

In his penultimate text, McNamara proudly declares “I hate black people.”

The officer’s texts were released by San Jose Police Department on Friday evening. McNamara has reportedly resigned from the department. The other people involved in the texts have not been named.

According to his attorney, as indicated the initial incident occurred when a group of three men, reportedly intoxicated, accosted Green inside a taqueria. One of the men pulled a ghost gun out, which Green wrestled away from him.

“Mr. Green was attempting to deescalate the situation by backing out of the restaurant with his hands in the air, holding the gun pointing up at the sky. With their weapons drawn, numerous officers ordered Mr. Green to drop the weapon when McNamara inexplicably shot him, giving him no chance to comply,” said Adanté Pointer, Green’s Oakland-based civil rights attorney.

“K’Aun Green is lucky to be alive today,” Pointer said. “Tellingly, McNamara was the only officer to shoot at Mr. Green as none of the other officers fired their guns.

“The conduct of now former Officer McNamara is beyond reprehensible, it is downright disgusting,” Pointer said. “Not only did he shoot to kill an innocent Black man, who was merely acting as a good Samaritan, but the recent revelations make it clear that his primary motivation in doing so was a hatred of Black people.”

As Pointer explained, “We get a glimpse into the mind of a police officer, this individual police officer. But we know from the evidence many other police officers who have betrayed their badge, who have betrayed their duty, who have betrayed the public, and they walk around with a deep seated hatred, racial animus in their heart, and we see it play out again and again and again in our communities on our streets. Sometimes that results in death.”

The text messages, Pointer argued, “is proof positive of the mind state of this police officer when he decided to use deadly force against Mr. Green, shooting him four times.”

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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