Judge Makes Cops Release Video of Fatal Shooting

Police in Gardena, California, had fought to keep it under wraps
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Suggested by tran_tor
Posted Jul 15, 2015 3:25 PM CDT

Another video of a police shooting is making headlines, but this one happened two years ago. In it, officers in Gardena, California, fatally shoot Ricardo Diaz Zeferino, 35, who had been stopped with two other men during the investigation of a bicycle theft. At one point, the three men have their hands up, but as the Los Angeles Times writes, the unarmed Diaz Zeferino "appears confused by the officers’ instructions." He raises his hands and drops them multiple times, despite police orders to keep them up, and when he takes off his baseball hat, the officers open fire.

One of the other two men also got hit, but he has since recovered. The department settled with their families for $4.7 million and then fought for two years to keep the two dash-cam videos from the public. However, US District Judge Stephen V. Wilson yesterday ordered police to release them, ruling that the public had an interest in seeing them. The AP has some wrenching details: It says that Diaz Zeferino, who was drunk, was trying to explain to the officers that it was his brother whose bike was stolen and that he and the other two men were actually out looking for it. One of his family's attorneys plans to ask federal prosecutors to look into whether the shooting constitutes a federal civil rights violation. (More police shooting stories.)

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