This post has been updated.
Fridoon Rawshan Nehad’s family always feared that he would die a tragic death.
After Nehad’s Afghan military unit went missing during the country’s wars in the 1980s, Nehad’s father checked the lists of dead at hospitals. When the family discovered that mujahedeen rebels had captured Nehad, his mother went into enemy territory to rescue him. Soon after, Nehad’s parents smuggled him out of Afghanistan with the rest of his family following months later.
About a decade ago, Nehad and his family reunited in the United States. But his parents and sisters soon discovered a new threat. Nehad was mentally ill and his violent outbursts had at times threatened his immigration status. Nehad’s sister, Benazeer Roshan, worried he’d be deported back to Afghanistan and killed by the Taliban because of his mental illness.
“But never in America,” Roshan told me.
But it did happen here. Early in the morning on April 30, San Diego police officer Neal Browder shot and killed Nehad while he was having a manic episode in a Midway District alleyway. Browder was responding to a 911 call of a knife-wielding man threatening people. Nehad turned out to be unarmed.
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Perhaps an initiative is needed to force the city, the police chief and the DA, after spending millions of dollars of taxpayer money on cameras for each police officer, to require that those cameras be up and running every time an officer gets out of his car or pulls his gun. Individual police officers may be more likely to go with nonlethal responses instead of shooting first if they know that things are being captured on video. But as long as the police chief and DA let them to turn off their cameras whenever they want to, no change in their current behavior should be expected. The mayor, city council, police chief and the DA should be held accountable by the voters if they fail to use the cameras for the purpose they bought them.
@Don Wood what you have suggested was mentioned by members of the Safe Neigbourhoods Committee in November's meeting. I believe that Zimmerman indicated that the desired technology was being tested and not yet ready.
Your other comment is much more troubling. It deals with police turning off their cameras during encounters; as happened in December during a SWAT operation. That largely under-reported incident deserved more coverage and demanded explanation as to why the de-activation order was given. An explanation of the sort that is only obtainable by the press or during lawsuits. Absent those things none shall come.
An Email, from VOSD, just popped up in my mailbox. Its title is 'Interesting and Fearless Coverage.' Right!
Dumanis and the likes of Todd Gloria are the problem! They are in the pockets of developers, don't want crime reported and will do everything in their power to hide it. I used to respect the law until I was brutally beaten. Bonnie never charged the attacker and Todd claimed it was my own fault because I called the police, go figure? Death threats and over a thousand dollars damage and theft by an employee of the "Police Protected Bar" Tobacco Rhoda's which is still open and the neighbors still terrorized, yet when we found the stolen property it took more than two hours to respond and then they refused to charge the thief with the crime. Cops kill in San Diego with impunity thats simply wrong Dumanis and Gloria belong in jail with the rest of the Cartel they support! Nothing but shame for the City. Remember this? Still an attacker at large and before this even happened we warned of trouble they did nothing to make us safer they just made us more afraid of them! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkRROQZKwcg
In my view, the most troubling aspect of all this is the blatant dishonesty of Bonnie Dumanis. That is followed by the generally meek reporting of the news media and failure to meaningfully challenge Ms. Dumanis' versioning of events. (For example, the UT editorially and through its cartoonist implied the day after the news conference, thus before all of the information was released, that the news conference put the issue to bed. Then, when they saw what was withheld, had to backtrack. KPBS ran a milquetoast story at the top of their evening news and then moved on to the weather. Scott Lewis, to his credit, asked provocative questions at the news conference and was predictably insulted by the DA as if provocative questions are not OK at a news conference.) Finally, there is the lack of accountability considering that the Police Chief reports to the Mayor, but no one seems to make the Mayor accountable. Contrast that to New York, for example, where the Mayor is consistently called to account for the actions of the police department.
The owner of the surveillance camera made several strongly opinionated statements last year, to the effect that the video contained evidence of police misconduct. These statements strongly influenced public interest in this incident. It would be instructive to find his statements and match them to the video that has now been released; were they accurate or inflammatory? The public needs to know how well verbal descriptions of the video match up with the actual scenes we can now see.
@Ed Price I believe it was reported that an employee of the owner who offered an opinion. I agree with his opinion. The notion of the strength of that opinion is yours.
I am not persuaded that those "statements strongly influenced public interest in this incident": rather, I suspect that concealment. of the video - the allure of the forbidden- did just that. Tell them to look at Seattle.
I am getting so damn weary of descriptions of a video as "graphic." Exactly what else is a video other than graphic? "We have video of the sun setting; caution, it's graphic!"
@Ed Price you, sir, are confused by the distinction (with a world of difference) that is made when the article 'a' is included or omitted.
I have no doubt that you have observed such an incident, whether it exists or not. However, you have not explained how that post-shooting incident could have factored into Browder's shoot-don't-shoot decision. If I am not mistaken, the bonnie lass used similar red-herring tactics in her press conference.
I suppose that If I had been shot from 25 feet while carrying a pen, I would hope that I would have had enough life left to, at least, kick my assailant. Most persons would.
So many issues here. My heart goes out to all the families that have to deal with mental illness. Cutbacks has left little or no support to assist our mental illness in dire situations. It must feel like a ticking time bomb.
This is far from an isolated situation in our county. Surely enforcement must know this better than the public.
It's horrific that a seasoned cop shot someone dead in seconds. There must have been a multitude of choices to mitigate this. Where's the leadership to retrain our gun happy police force? These decisions cost the taxpayers millions every time.
@Will Johnson Law enforcement does not know better than anyone and they have proven that by their ineptitude and incompetence and in those shortcomings they have been assisted by lies; their own and of prosecutors.