San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis released a surveillance video (below) on Dec. 22 that shows Police Officer Neal Browder fatally shooting Fridoon Rawshan Nehad on April 30 in an alley. At the time, Nehad was carrying a pen, which Browder reportedly mistook for a knife.
Dumanis and Browder, along with San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, most of the city council and Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman, had fought the public release of the video, but a federal judge ordered the video released, which Dumanis did a few days before the judge's deadline, the Voice of San Diego reports.
At the time of the shooting, Browder was answering a call about a man allegedly threatening people with a knife near an adult bookstore. Browder drove up in his patrol car, and, moments later, jumped out and shot Nehad in the chest.
Dumanis chose not to charge Browder, who did not have his body camera on.
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Dumanis said in November that it was reasonable for Browder to have felt threatened by Nehad. Dumanis also asserted that the video's perspective was not good and that Nehad was approaching Browder.
Nehad’s family got a copy of the shooting video some time ago, but was not allowed to release it publicly. Several news organizations sued to have the video released, which U.S. District Court Judge William Q. Hayes agreed to earlier in December.
Even though Dumanis has full confidence in Browder’s statement, she has refused to publicly release it.
Nehad’s family filed a $20 million lawsuit for deprivation of Nehad’s civil rights, assault and battery, negligence and wrongful death against the City of San Diego in August, KNSD reported.
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“Officer Browder reasonably believed that [Nehad] was going to harm him or others, and used only the amount of force that was reasonably necessary to protect himself or others," the City of San Diego stated in its response to the lawsuit.
Nehad’s parents say their son struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder and mental illness following his service in the Afghan military, during which he was captured, tortured and held prisoner by a Mujahideen group for about two months.
WARNING: Graphic content.