Judge dismisses lawsuit against SDPD over deadly shooting

Officers check on a man who was shot by a San Diego police officer on April 30, 2015. (San Diego District Attorney)

SAN DIEGO — A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed against the city of San Diego, police Chief Shelley Zimmerman and a police officer who shot a man who had been threatening people in the Midway District more than two years ago.

In his ruling Monday, U.S. District Judge William Q. Hayes found the officer reasonably believed the man, Fridoon Rashan Nehad, posed a risk of serious injury or death to Officer Neal Browder and others.

Nehad, who had convinced multiple people that he was armed with a knife, was shot in an alley as he advanced on the officer.

“In reviewing this tragic death of a homeless man with mental health issues, the judge was correct to not compound the tragedy by finding fault with the police officer who acted to defend himself and others,” said City Attorney Mara Elliott. “Not many of us would have entered a dark alley under these circumstances. Our police officers put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe.”

Hayes also found no evidence that Nehad’s constitutional rights had been violated, as the plaintiffs had alleged, and no evidence to support the plaintiffs’ claim that San Diego Police Department policies or training was a “moving force” behind the officer’s actions.

In the aftermath of the August 2015 shooting, then-District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis reviewed the case for potential charges against Officer Browder and determined the shooting was justified.