The family of a man shot to death by a San Diego police officer earlier this year has filed a motion to change venue, saying that the San Diego County District Attorney's media campaign has tainted the jury pool.
According to documents obtained by Team 10, the family requested the change because "the shooting happened there. But they can no longer get a fair trial in San Diego because a high-level, powerful, trusted public official, San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, has gone out in the media and prejudiced the jury pool. The motion is based on actions by the popularly-elected chief prosecutor for San Diego County."
The city of San Diego, SDPD Chief Shelley Zimmerman and Officer Neal Browder were named in lawsuit filed by the family of Fridoon Rawshan Nehad.
On April 30, Browder -- a 27-year veteran of the force -- shot and killed the 42-year-old Nehad in an alley in the Midway area. The officer was responding to a 911 call that indicated a man was threatening people with a knife.
According to a district attorney's office investigation, Browder feared for his life when he fatally shot Nehad.
It was later determined that Nehad was carrying a metallic pen, and not a knife.
Authorities acknowledged Browder's body camera was not turned on at the time of the confrontation. The district attorney's office has refused to release surveillance video of the incident captured from a nearby business.
Nehad's family says the district attorney's office has made dishonest statements about the case and Nehad, specifically referring to Dumanis' Nov. 9 press briefing in which she announced Browder would not be charged for the shooting.
Team 10 reached out to the District Attorney's office, but no one has responded as of early Monday evening.
The DA's office released the following statement to Team 10 Tuesday afternoon:
“The District Attorney’s Office fulfilled its obligation to thoroughly and independently review this officer-involved shooting. The public comments by the District Attorney regarding the video have been accurate and supported by a thorough review of the evidence. Any suggestion to the contrary is merely posturing in support of a civil suit seeking monetary damages.”
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