Stephen Ellison

SF Filmmaker Kevin Epps Applauds DA's Office for ‘Just Decision' Not to Charge Him in Deadly Shooting

The award-winning director was arrested and released this week in the fatal shooting of a man inside his house

San Francisco filmmaker and activist Kevin Epps, who was arrested and released this week in the fatal shooting of a man inside his home, applauded the city's justice system Wednesday during an interview with NBC Bay Area.

Epps was arrested Monday on suspicion of homicide after 45-year-old Marcus Polk, was found shot to death in Epps' home in the city's Glen Park neighborhood. The award-winning filmmaker was released Tuesday after the District Attorney’s Office declined to charge him, citing a lack of evidence.

Epps said he couldn't provide details about the incident, but he and his attorney said the DA's office made the right decision. He cried and wiped tears from his eyes as he spoke to NBC Bay Area on Wednesday.

"I can’t really convey what I’m feeling because it’s highs, lows," Epps said. "This whole experience is still foreign to me. I’m just really about uplifting and empowering my people."

Epps has been doing that for the past 20 years through his films. He’s best known for documenting the effects of violence in San Francisco’s poorest neighborhoods in the documentary "Straight Outta Hunters Point." Epps, who is a board member of the Bay Area Black Journalists Association, also directed the 2006 documentary "Rap Dreams." 

Rudy Corpuz, the founder of youth anti-violence group United Playaz, said he was stunned when he heard Epps was arrested in the killing. 

"He’s a revolutionary; he helped many many people," Corpuz said.

Epps also never imagined he would become the focus of a homicide investigation.

"I can tell you it’s a case of self defense, and it was a shooting and a death," Epps' attorney, Mark Webb, said.

Investigators have said Epps and Polk knew each other. Polk’s son said Monday his father may have gone to Epps' home uninvited.

"If you don’t like that, call the cops," Polk Jr. said. "You don’t have to kill him, man."

Epps' release has not closed the case and there is the possibility there could be further charges, Webb said.

"That’s why we’re being very careful about what we say," the attorney said.

Both Webb and Epps applauded San Francisco’s criminal justice system for not pressing charges.

"There is justice for a black man," Epps said. "I got a lot of friends and stories, and I’m one of them. I thank San Francisco for making the right and just decision."

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