Judge may release SDPD shooting video - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Judge may release SDPD shooting video

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Fridoon Nehad, age 42, shot by SDPD officer on April 30 Fridoon Nehad, age 42, shot by SDPD officer on April 30
SDPD Officer Neal "Nick" Browder SDPD Officer Neal "Nick" Browder

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Another video of a police officer shooting an unarmed man is expected to be released by the end of the week; and this time it's in San Diego.

Several news organizations argued Tuesday in federal court for the public release of surveillance video, which captured the April 30 shooting death of Fridoon Nehad, 42.

The San Diego City Attorney’s office and an attorney representing Officer Neal “Nick” Browder argued against the release of the video.

The city wanted a delay in its release until a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Nehad’s family has been concluded.

Magistrate Judge William Hayes rejected the city’s call for a delay and indicated he is considering releasing the video by the end of the week.

It’s been seven months since surveillance cameras in the Midway district captured the shooting of Nehad, an immigrant from Afghanistan who suffered from mental illness.

Last month, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis announced no criminal charges would be filed against Officer Browder, a 27-year veteran of the San Diego Police force. At the time, Dumanis refused to release the video.

“I believe that the danger of (releasing) a video is that it only is one piece of the evidence out of context,” Dumanis said at the time.

Officer Browder, 51, apparently thought Nehad was carrying a knife. It turned out to be a pen.

Several witnesses said Nehad had been making threats in the early morning hours of April 30 before Browder arrived on the scene.

Nehad's family obtained a copy of the video by suing SDPD, the city and Officer Browder but, currently, a court order prohibits the family from releasing the footage. The lawsuit is ongoing.

Now, it appears Judge Hayes may lift the sealing order on the video by the end of the week, based on his statements and questioning in court.

The case comes after several high-profile, police shooting videos have hit the airwaves by court order, including two in Chicago, which triggered protests and calls for the resignation of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

In response to questions by CBS News 8, a spokesperson for Mayor Kevin Faulconer emailed us the following statement:

We’ve been informed by the police chief that the Department of Justice is looking into this case, and we support the appropriate federal review, local law enforcement and legal processes to run their course before any video or other material evidence should be released. Part of this process involves the judge’s decision, which the city will follow.

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