October 27, 2015
Age at Death:
Mr. Ashford was visiting San Diego to see a family member.
Mr. Ashford, unarmed, was shot in the torso by a San Diego Harbor police officer, a nine-year veteran of the department, in the parking lot near the Holiday Inn on Harbor Drive near Nimitz Boulevard in suburban San Diego. The responding officer approached Mr. Ashford, allegedly believing him to be casing vehicles, when the officer claims Mr. Ashford suddenly attacked him. They fell to the ground and police say Mr. Ashford tried to grab the officer's gun. The officer's Taser deployed during the struggle, striking both the officer and Anthony. The officer then fired his gun once. Ashford was struck in the torso and died at the scene. It is notable that a) Mr. Ashford had no prior criminal record, b) homicide investigators reported earlier that night, the security at the Holiday Inn had removed Ashford from the lobby for creating a disturbance, and c) no drugs were found to be in Mr. Ashford's system at the time of the shooting. There was no police body cam footage because the Harbor Police force does not use body cam.
Was justice served?
In May 2016, then-District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said the officer acted in self-defense, and the shooting was justified. A letter justifying the shooting noted Ashford had a criminal record dating to 2002, had a long mental health history that included stays at state hospitals, court findings he was not mentally competent and several suicide attempts. An Internal Affairs report included in the records show that all of the officer’s actions were deemed to be within department policy and training. The officer suffered minor injuries.