DA's office announces release of police videos

Posted at 5:30 PM, May 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-06 23:34:47-04

Three officer-involved shootings from 2014 and 2015 were justified and the officers involved will not face criminal charges, San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said Friday.

Dumanis, in a move toward transparency, said her office is working with law enforcement to develop a policy to release  reviews and videos associated with the cases more quickly.

"This is really new territory," Dumanis told reporters. "It's out of our comfort zone."

With officers wearing body cameras and so much video being shot by witnesses, Dumanis said her office will release the reviews of officer-involved shootings -- along with some video of the incident -- so the public knows what happened in a particular case.

Friday, Dumanis released the findings of three officer-involved shootings in San Diego, two of them fatal incidents.

The fatal shooting of Lamontez Jones last Oct. 20 in the Gaslamp Quarter was justified, according to Dumanis.

She said San Diego police Officer Scott Thompson shot Jones as the suspect pointed what looked to be a real gun at the officer. A few seconds later, Jones sat up and pointed the gun at Thompson again, and Thompson and Officer Greg Lindstrom shot Jones several more times.

The non-fatal shooting of Michael John Taylor on March 12, 2014, was also found to be justified.

Dumanis said officers were trying to arrest Taylor in the parking lot of a motel in Point Loma when the suspect drove a car forward, striking San Diego police Officer Brian Sanchez on the leg. Sanchez fired four rounds, hitting Taylor in the torso and left leg.

Also, the fatal shooting of 34-year-old Dennis Fiel last May 17 by two San Diego police officers was found to be justified.

Dumanis said officers chased a vehicle possibly related to a series of shootings under investigation.

Officers found the car unoccupied and found Fiel walking nearby. Fiel fled from police, went into some shrubbery and pulled out a handgun from a backpack, Dumanis said.

Fiel fired several rounds at Officer Mario Larrea and Larrea and Officer Joshua Hodge returned fire, striking Fiel several times. It was subsequently determined that Officer Heather Seddon, who had been in foot pursuit of the suspect, was unintentionally struck by crossfire from a fellow officer.