The footage was taken by police car dash-cams on June 2, 2013, and shows Gardena, California, (just south of Los Angeles) police officers seeking to arrest what turned out to be three unarmed men. The police mistakenly thought they had been involved in a bike robbery.
The police dispatcher also erroneously reported the crime as “high priority,” indicating that the suspects may have firearms.
Ricardo Diaz-Zeferino, 34, one of the three men police had cornered in the video, was actually the brother of the man whose bike had been stolen. Witnesses say he was trying to tell the officers they had the wrong men.
In the video, the police yell at him, “Get your hands up!” Diaz-Zeferino raises and lowers his hands a couple of times and steps forward, apparently trying to reason with the officers.
From one angle, his palms are open and facing upward. Footage from a second camera behind two of the police officers showed Diaz-Zeferino’s right hand briefly swinging out of view at his waist when the police opened fire . . .
The Los Angeles Times reports: “The district attorney’s office declined to file charges against the officers. Deputy Dist. Atty. Rosa Alarcon wrote in a memo about the shooting that Diaz Zeferino ignored police commands and that toxicology tests after his death were positive for alcohol and methamphetamine. His right hand, she wrote, was no longer visible from the officers’ angle when they opened fire and it was reasonable for them to believe he was reaching for a weapon. (Read more from “Watch: The SHOCKING Police Shooting Video so Controversial It Took 2 Years to Be Released” HERE)