"Fresno, CA - The family of a mentally ill man shot seven times and killed by Fresno police in September filed a lawsuit against the Fresno Police Department on Wednesday, and their lawyers released a graphic video they say shows the police body cam footage of the shooting at a news conference Thursday.
"The video appears to show two Fresno police officers, identified in the lawsuit as Zebulon Price and Felipe Miguel Lucero, exit their car, identify themselves and yell for Freddy Centeno, 40, to get on the ground. They then fire nine shots – seven of which hit Centeno. The time between them getting out of the car and firing their weapons is a few seconds.
"Fresno police Chief Jerry Dyer told The Bee that the video he reviewed showed the officers giving Centeno multiple commands. It also showed Centeno reach into his waistband and pull out the garden hose nozzle. He will hold a news conference Thursday and is considering releasing the police body cam footage, which is normally against department policy.
"The video released by the lawyers includes narration and a slow-motion replay of the shooting, which shows the ninth shot was fired while Centeno was already falling down from the first wounds.
"The shooting occurred around 11 a.m. on Sept. 3. Centeno was in a coma for 23 days before dying on Sept. 26.
"Police had received several calls from neighbors saying a shirtless man had threatened them with what appeared to be a gun. The department was aware of Centeno’s mental illness, but Price and Lucero were not, Fresno police Lt. Mark Salazar said at the time.
"Centeno family attorney Humberto Guizar said that Centeno was holding the black garden hose nozzle at the time of the shooting, but that the violent and hasty response by officers was well beyond their legal limits."