During an altercation on March 14, 2023, an Oxnard police officer fatally shot a man who charged at them brandishing a steel bar and calling them “pigs,” sparking outrage and increased calls for police reform.
The incident happened in Oakland when police arrived in response to a report of a disturbance and came across a man brandishing a metal bar and yelling insults at them.
Adam Barcenas, 60, is shown on bodycam footage charging toward three Oxnard police officers at a 6 a.m. DUI stop in Oxnard, a city 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles.
“Hey you f-king pigs,” Barcenas can be heard yelling.
“I abhor pig. Let’s go. I abhor pigs. I abhor you. I abhor you. I detest you.
Barcenas attacked the three Oxnard police officers with a 5-foot steel bar when they were on the sidewalk talking to a driver they believed to be intoxicated.
The officers repeatedly told the irate man to put down the bar while shooing the citizen out of the way.
According to Oxnard police, Barcenas disobeyed their orders and kept moving aggressively and menacingly in their direction.
While another officer—whom Barcenas was clearly targeting—whipped out his gun, two other officers pulled out tasers.
According to video, Officer Shayn Schwartz fatally shot a man the charging man four times, killing him.
Barcenas was struck three times: once in each of his right hip, left upper chest, and right leg.
One cop used her taser, but Barcenas’ skin was not damaged.
The third Oxnard police officer did not pull his gun.
He passed away roughly two hours after being taken to a nearby hospital.
KVTA noted that Barcenas had a history of violent crime.
In two separate, unprovoked assaults in 2019, he attacked two elderly individuals on the street.
He charged up to a 71-year-old woman, kicked her repeatedly while she was on the ground, hit her in the head, and then shoved her to the ground. Eight days later, she passed away, but the attack by Barcenas could not be proven to be the cause of death.
A little while later, he went up to an 80-year-old man who was strolling with his wife and hit him in the face, walked away, and then came back to strike him again.
According to the department, all three officers were on administrative leave. No one had ever been a victim of a gunshot.
The shooting is being looked into by the city.
In the aftermath of the shooting, protests erupted in Oakland and other places around the state, with protestors demanding justice for the man who was slain and asking for an end to police brutality. Some have also demanded that the offending officer be made to answer for his deeds, which may include filing criminal charges.
The event occurs at a time when public and law enforcement relations are particularly tense and when support for police reform is rising. Many people are optimistic that this occurrence will spark more discussion and a renewed commitment to changing the criminal justice system to better serve all members of society, even though there is no simple solution to the complicated issues at play.