San Diego police are refusing to release a surveillance video showing an officer killing a man who was holding a pen, which caused the cop to fear for life, claiming he thought the pen was a knife.
And releasing the video, they say, would place officers’ lives at risk.
But this is a department that fears pens, so they are probably just being a tad bit paranoid.
The likely reason they don’t want to release the video is because it contradicts their initial description of the shooting, according to a lawsuit filed by the victim’s family, who were allowed to view the video after months of legal wrangling.
The suit states that the video shows Fridoon Rawshan Nehad, a 42-year-old man with a history of mental illness, standing in an alley behind the store at least 15 feet from San Diego police officer Neal Browder when he pulled up in response to a man threatening people with a knife.
Browder stopped his car, shining its headlights on Nehad, but did not have his emergency lights on.
He then stepped out and fired, even though Nehad never once charged Browder and even though Browder never made an attempt to arrest or subdue him with less-lethal force.
It also turned out that Browder never turned on his bodycam, which is a violation of departmental policy.
And despite the fact that it should have become immediately evident within minutes of the shooting that Nehad did not have a knife, the San Diego Police Department lied to the media, claiming he did have a knife.
In fact, it was not until almost a week later, when the story would not go away, that police finally admitted he did not have a knife.
This is how the story was originally reported on KGTV on April 30:
San Diego police officers fatally shot a knife-wielding man early Thursday behind an adult book store in the Midway District.
An employee of the Hi-Lite Adult Book and Video Store called for help after the armed man threatened people in the 3200 block of Hancock Street around 12:05 a.m., San Diego police Lt. Mike Hastings said. The gunman then entered the business and threatened the worker before heading back outside.
An arriving officer spotted the suspect behind the building. The knife-wielding man charged at the officer prompting him to open fire, according to Hastings.
The suspect was taken to a hospital but later died, Hastings said. His name was withheld pending family notification.
Hastings said the officer who shot the suspect had been with the San Diego Police Department for 27 years.
Even days later, after police released the name of the victim, they were still sticking to the original story that he had charged at the officer with a knife.
San Diego police Saturday identified the man who reportedly wielded a knife early Thursday in an alley behind an adult book store in the Midway District.
Fridoon Zalbeg Rawshannehad, 42, had threatened people in the 3200 block of Hancock Street near West Camino del Rio around 12:05 a.m. Thursday, San Diego police Lt. Mike Hastings said.
An employee of the Highlight Book Store called for help, as Rawshannehad then entered the business and threatened the worker before heading back outside.
An arriving officer spotted Rawshannehad behind the building and told him to drop his weapon. Wielding a knife, Rawshannehad charged at the officer, prompting him to open fire, according to Hastings.
Rawshannehad was taken to a hospital but later died, Hastings said.
And even when they finally admitted he had no knife as was reported it on May 6 – they still refused to admit he was holding only a pen.
No knife was found on the man fatally shot by police after reports he threatened to stab someone, a San Diego Police lieutenant revealed Wednesday.
Investigators recovered a knife sheath from the body of Fridoon Zalbeg Rawshannehad, 42, who was shot to death by Officer Neal N. Browder, a 27-year veteran of the SDPD.
SDPD Homicide Lt. Paul Rorrison said Rawshannehad was holding a “shiny object” when gunned down and that object has been processed as evidence. However, he would not give any details about it or say if the object was considered a weapon.
So we can clearly see why San Diego police refuse to release the video. It’s not necessarily because the evil cop-hating citizens of San Diego will use it as an excuse to kill cops.
It’s because it reveals them as bald-face liars who will violate their oath and the law to protect one of their own.
Even if the video does show Nehad advancing towards Browder, there is no excuse not to own up to the fact that he did not have a knife after the shooting.
The situation has not only prompted a lawsuit from Nehad’s family, but from five local media organizations as well, which you can read here, who are suing the police department for refusing to release the video.
The adult bookstore also has a copy of the video, but has also refused to release it – probably from pressure from police – stating they will only do so under an order of a subpoena.
But guess who was allowed to watch the video?
Officer Browder himself, who was allowed to watch the video five days after the shooting before he was required to provide an official statement.
But even then, they apparently were still unable to get their story straight.