In April 2015, San Diego police Neal “Nick” Browder shot and killed a homeless man in an alleyway after claiming the man came charging at him with a knife.
Surveillance video eventually proved that Fridoon Rawshan Nehad not only did not charge at Browder, he was only carrying a pen.
But Browder was cleared anyway because he uttered the magic words that he was in fear for his life.
More recently on February 20, 2016, Browder was searching the home of a probationer when he “accidentally” fired his gun, sending a bullet through a baby crib.
Fortunately, the crib was empty, but that incident was enough for San Diego police to take him off the streets and reassign him to a desk job, which is meant to be some type of disciplinary action for the cop who made more than $150,000 in pay and benefits in 2014.
ABC 10 broke the story after receiving a tip from a source, reaching out to the police union and Browder’s lawyer, but receiving no comment.
Negligent shootings, which police refer to as “accidental shootings,” are quite common among police officers despite the belief that they are highly trained professionals when it comes to firearms.
Last December, a cop in California said he accidentally fired when was pulled out his gun and shot a man who was climbing out of a rollover accident after a pursuit.
Initially, Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey said he would not file charges against Paradise police officer Patrick Feaster because he believed he never meant to shoot and kill him.
But after a national backlash, Ramsey filed involuntary manslaughter charges against Feaster.
Then there was New York City police officer Peter Liang who negligently fired a gun in a dark stairwell, killing a man named Akai Gurley who was doing nothing but walking downstairs with his girlfriend because the elevator in their building was not working.
Liang was convicted of manslaughter but last month received probation.
And let’s not forget the Florida campus cop who negligently fired his gun earlier this week, leaving a bullet hole in the roof of his patrol car.
But back to Browder.
After killing Nehad, he told fellow officers that he did not see a weapon, so maybe it was another negligent shooting. It was only after he was allowed to watch the surveillance video that he changed his story, claiming he thought the pen was a knife.
But just because Browder was allowed to watch the video prior to giving an official statement does not mean the video was released to the public.
No, that took another eight months with San Diego police saying releasing the video would place officers’ lives at risk. And it was only released after Browder had been cleared of any wrongdoing.
Nehad’s family has filed a lawsuit against the department over the shooting, which is still pending.
Generally speaking, when a cop is assigned to desk duty, he is stripped of his badge and gun and authority to make arrests.