The San Diego District Attorney's Office released surveillance video Tuesday of a deadly police shooting involving an unarmed mentally ill man.
Fridoon Rawshan Nehad, 42, was shot and killed April 30 in a confrontation with San Diego police Officer Neal Browder, who was responding to a call that a man was outside a strip club threatening people with a knife.
The video shows Nehad approaching Browder with what city officials had previously claimed appeared to be a knife. The object Nehad wielded turned out to be a metallic pen.
When Nehad is approximately 15 to 20 feet away from his cruiser, Browder fired multiple shots, hitting Nehad. The video shows Browder and several other officers attempt to revive Nehad, who was unconscious after being shot.
The release of the video comes after the judge in the case lifted a protective order that previously kept the footage secret, part of a $20 million civil lawsuit brought by Nehad's family against Browder and the city. Local media agencies intervened, requesting the video and Browder's statement be released to the public.
According to the lawsuit, Nehad suffered from schizophrenia and bipolar disease.
DA Bonnie Dumanis's office has cleared Browder in its investigation and says the 27-year-veteran police officer will face no charges. The DA's office said that it will not release Browder's statement along with the video at this time.
After screening the video for media, the DA reaffirmed her defense of Browder. In this situation, "I think any of us without training would be afraid of being stabbed" she said.
Asked if her office was embarrassed that the alleged knife turned out to be a pen, Dumanis said that the officer didn't have time to assess it was a pen and not a knife and that the pen looks "very similar" to a knife. She said that the officers that responded to the scene looked everywhere for a knife, but didn't find any weapons.
A separate investigation into the Nehad shooting by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office is ongoing. All evidence from the DA's office investigation was turned over to the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice, Dumanis said.
Michael Hayes is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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Leticia Miranda is a retail reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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