The San Diego pride shooting death of a 37-year-old bodybuilder/dancer who jumped off a harbour cruise and allegedly attacked a cop during an attempted rescue has left several unanswered questions, and family members of the victim alleging gay bias and a cover up, according to the Associated Press.
Steven Hirschfield was shot and killed after he jumped from the 222-foot Inspiration, operated by Hornblower Cruises, over Pride weekend.
The boat, chartered by party promoters as one of the gay Pride parties, had some 800 patrons packed on board.
According to reports, Hirschfield refused an attempted rescue.
When harbour police finally fished the man out of the water, he allegedly attacked a cop, grabbing his taser gun and beating the cop in the face.
Hirschfield was shot when he reached for the cop’s fire arm.
But family members say that just doesn’t sound like Hirschfield.
“He is not violent. I have not seen him hit anybody in my life,” his sister, Kristine Hirschfield, said at a news conference on Friday. “It doesn’t make any sense.”
According to Yahoo! News, the family is planning to file a federal lawsuit, claiming Hirschfield’s civil rights were violated.
They plan to conduct their own investigation into the Hirschfield’s death.
“Steven Hirschfield had everything to live for. So this myth that you are hearing that Steven was attacking a police officer is completely at odds with the type of person that Steven Hirschfield was,” family attorney Brian Claypool said, according to AP.
“The manner in which this police officer handled this situation is consistent with somebody who might hold some preconceived notions against gay people.”
Though onlookers report Hirschfield jumped from the boat, Claypool says he might have slipped.
The lawyer also questions a medical examiner’s report that he was killed by a shot to the chest—he claims Hirschfield was shot in the back.
The dancer, who was employed by Circuit Daze, the event’s party promoter, was down in San Diego visiting from the Los Angeles area. The Harbour cruise had become a staple event of San Diego Pride.
“We’ll get to the bottom of this,” said Hirschfield’s father, Alan, standing beside his weeping wife, Nicole, according to AP.
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