A decision could come by the end of the week on whether to release video showing a police officer shooting and killing a homeless, unarmed, mentally ill man.
The officer was wearing a body camera but didn’t activate it. However, a surveillance camera from a nearby business captured the incident. The video has never been made public, despite 10News pushing for transparency.
“This video, we have to remember, was taken by a public business from their security camera on a public street,” said 10News attorney Guylyn Cummins. "I mean the fact that we even have a protective order that has kept it from the public is interesting.”
In court, attorneys for the city and Officer Neal Browder argued releasing the video could get in the way of an internal affairs investigation and taint a jury pool for the civil case. They also believe the video doesn’t tell the full story. At one point the attorney arguing for the city said the video is designed to make people angry and get them to tune in.
On April 30, San Diego Police Officer Neal Browder responded to a 911 call of a man threatening people with a knife.
He arrived in an alley in the Midway District area and encountered Fridoon Nehad.
According to the District Attorney’s office, 32 seconds later Nehad was shot.
The DA’s office found that based on a thorough review of the evidence, Browder was not criminally liable for his actions, noting when the officer encountered Nehad in the alley, he was walking toward him with a shiny object in his hand.
Authorities say the officer believed that the suspect had a knife and held and manipulated that object in his hand like a knife. The item turned out to be a pen.
When asked during an interview what he believed at the time the incident was occurring, Officer Browder said he believed Nehad was going to stab him.
In an interview with the Voice of San Diego, a family member of Fridoon Nehad told reporter Liam Dillon, “I think that no person in the world, in the entire universe, can see that video and come to the conclusion that my brother was attacking a police officer.”
The judge could have a decision by the end of the week on whether or not to release the surveillance video.