Attorneys for the San Diego police officer who fatally shot a transient in the Midway District say the man failed to obey the officer's commands to stop, advanced on the officer and was just 15 feet away when the officer fired.
The City Attorney’s office detailed the new information in its answer to a $20 million complaint filed in the death of Fridoon Rawshan Nehad.
SDPD Officer Neal Browder shot Nehad to death outside an adult bookstore on April 30 – a killing his family called an excessive and unreasonable use of deadly force.
Browder said he thought Nehad was holding a knife before he fired, but that shiny object was actually a pen.
In the response filed Friday, the City Attorney’s office said Nehad was 30 feet away when the officer got out of his car. Click here to read the entire response.
According to the document, Browder “loudly and clearly” ordered Nehad to drop the object, but the transient refused and kept approaching until he was shot.
The attorneys say Nehad was 15 feet away from the officer when he fired – something the suspect’s family debates. They say Nehad was still 20 feet away and did nothing to prompt the shooting.
Browder, a 27-year veteran of the SDPD, was the only officer at the time of the shooting, and his failure to turn on his body camera forced the department to change its policy regarding those devices.
Because the incident was not recorded on an officer’s body camera, the SDPD had to obtain surveillance video a nearby business, which it has refused to make public
In their complaint, Nehad’s parents accuse Browder of deprivation of Nehad’s civil rights, assault and battery, negligence and wrongful death.
The shooting ended Nehad’s long struggle with PTSD and mental illness, his parents said in their complaint. While in the Afghan army, Nehad was captured by a Mujahedeen group and spent nearly two months in captivity, being tortured. He was released when his mother met face-to-face with his captors.