Officer involved in fatal shooting wasn’t wearing body cam

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SAN DIEGO — A San Diego police officer shot and killed a man armed with a knife in the Black Mountain Ranch community after the man allegedly charged at him Thursday night.

The San Diego Police Department is still investigating but confirmed there was no video footage of the encounter.

“In this instant, the officer was not wearing a body camera,” said San Diego Police Homicide Lt. Paul Rorrison.

In May, Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman made a policy change to the body camera procedures in San Diego following an officer-involved shooting in the Midway District.

The previous body camera policy allowed officers to wait until they had made an enforcement contact before hitting record. Now officers must switch their cameras on when they get the radio call. So why did this officer not have a camera?

“We have about 600 officers currently that are wearing body-worn cameras. But the particular officer last night, that particular division — Northwestern Division — has not been issued body cameras,” said San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman.

FOX 5 was able to catch up with Zimmerman, who is a big proponent of the devices.  She said the issue has been due to fiscal restraints and the department is now in the process of providing cameras to all 1,000 San Diego patrol officers.

“With this new budget that took effect on July 1, there’s money in that budget for an additional 400 body-worn cameras. So over the next several months, the other divisions that have not been issued body-worn cameras yet — the officers that have not been issued those cameras — will be issued those cameras,” said Zimmerman.

SDPD said the officer involved in the shooting is a 24-year veteran of the department.

The officer’s name was not released.  He is being placed on administrative leave.

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