DA releases graphic video of deadly shooting by cop

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*** WARNING: Video contains graphic images ***

SAN DIEGO -- District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis Tuesday released surveillance video of a fatal police shooting of a homeless mentally ill man in the Midway District.

Dumanis said she decided to make portions of the video public since neither the city of San Diego nor Mayor Kevin Faulconer planned to appeal U.S. District Judge William Q. Hayes' ruling to release the footage.

The judge's ruling came in a lawsuit filed by the family of 42-year-old Fridoon Nehad, who was shot by Officer Neal Browder after midnight on April 30. Browder was responding to a call about a man threatening people with a knife.

Nehad was shot as he advanced on the officer, twirling a shiny object that turned out to be a metallic pen, authorities said.

Browder fired one shot just 32 seconds after pulling up to the scene. Nehad was 17 feet from the officer when he was shot. The officer said later that he thought Nehad was going to stab him, according to Dumanis.

Everyone who came into contact with Nehad that night -- including people inside a bookstore, a bouncer at a nearby strip club and three witnesses -- thought he had a knife, according to the county's top prosecutor.

Dumanis also released body-worn camera video evidence, video from additional surveillance cameras, enhanced surveillance video used in the investigation, still frames from video and a transcript of the dispatcher- officer communication before, during and after the shooting.

"We're doing this to help put the (surveillance) video that was the subject of the protective order -- and only one piece of evidence -- into perspective with other relevant information,'' Dumanis told reporters.

The video footage in question came from a security camera from a nearby business and was confiscated by police as part of the investigation.

Last month, the District Attorney's Office ruled the shooting was justified.

Attorneys for the Nehad family got the video when they sued, but had to agree not to release it.

A coalition of media organizations went to court to ask the judge to lift the protective order.

Dumanis said she is working with a group of law enforcement officials -- including Sheriff Bill Gore, U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy and San Diego police Chief Shelley Zimmerman -- to determine how officer-involved shooting videos can be released in the future.

Zimmerman said the events of April 30 were a tragedy for both the Nehad family and  Browder. She said the officer is a 27-year veteran who has spent his entire career on patrol serving the citizens of San Diego.

Zimmerman said she respects Hayes' decision to lift the protective order allowing the surveillance video of the shooting to be released.

"Although the state criminal review has been completed, this case is still under review by the FBI, our Internal Affairs Unit, and will ultimately be reviewed by our independent Citizen's Review Board on Police Practices,'' the police chief said.


      • Either MURDER or a serious boo boo. And a cover up!

        Look at the unedited video! The Bum was walking down the alley minding his business. Cop yelled at him to drop a knife. Bum turns as he raises his hands and gets shot! The pen was not shiny or reflective as reported but instead a matte flat blue! The cop shot first without ever seeing a weapon! This is MURDER! and Dumanis is not helping. Cop of 27 years either made a boo boo of a decision or has been a bad cop flying under the radar for 27 years. 27 years doesn’t mean good cop. Hell, look at the dirty old man that was the mayor of San Diego, Bill Cosby, and all the other bad people that have flown under the radar!

    • SDPD shows up ill prepared to deal with mental illness.

      I call negligent homicide! It seems routine the officers show up give an order then shoot without actually being threatened in any way! So, I’ll give another perspective on the scenario in that this mentally ill person was showing people a pen he had found…possibly even trying to find the owner. The store owner got sick of this homeless guy hanging around and reports this guy looks like he has a knife. The cop shows up tells the mental victim to drop it the victim turns and shows the pen to the officer and gets shot. At no time was the officer in danger according to the video. The DA and mayor has covered up for crappy police work long enough and need to hold officers accountable for unreasonable uses of force. The video clearly shows the policeman did not judiciously use force and the DA covered this up by refusing to release the video. Continuing to cover up these poor decisions and poor training will undoubtedly lead to civil unrest and very expensive lawsuits!

    • Rc

      Are you able to tell the difference between a pen and a knife in someones hand with In a split second under the same situations.

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  • Eddie

    Your about to get stabbed from 17 feet away? No knife. This is going to cost the city $$$. Looks like he was going to walk to the right?

  • Radar

    I believe our elected leaders should be outraged instead of spinning for the police state and supporting them no matter what. Time to think about this when we vote.

  • scotts

    Why is this officer still walking around? He clearly committed murder on tape. Why did he turn off his camera? Anyone not in uniform would have been charged.

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