76 shots and one man dead: Video shows police on an ‘alarming and irresponsible’ car chase

May 11, 2019 in News, Video by RBN Staff

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Source: www.washingtonpost.com
By Michael Brice-Saddler

It was a beautiful July morning for residents of the West Anaheim district in California. Some walked along the streets and children played outside, enjoying the clear skies.

But the tranquil day was cut short, officials say, when Anaheim police officers Kevin Pedersen and Sean Staymates got a call. What transpired next was captured by their body-worn cameras: The officers are seen racing through the heavily populated neighborhood in their police cruiser, unleashing a hailstorm of bullets in pursuit of a suspect believed to be armed and dangerous.

The footage, which authorities called “disturbing,” was released Wednesday following an investigation into Pedersen and Staymates by the Orange County district attorney. Prosecutors say the men were summoned to a home on July 21 belonging to the parents of 50-year-old Eliuth Penaloza Nava, who sat outside in a white truck. His brother had called police to report Nava was “hallucinating” because of an unknown drug and that he was armed with a knife and gun inside his vehicle.

The officers fired a combined 76 shots as they chased Nava through West Anaheim, which prosecutors called “alarming and irresponsible.” Sixty-four of them came from Pedersen, a probationary officer, who was dismissed by the department, Anaheim Police Chief Jorge Cisneros said during a Wednesday news conference. Staymates will be disciplined, he said.

While prosecutors wrote that they were perturbed by the officers’ conduct, they lacked evidence to bring criminal charges against the two men, who were “justified in believing that Nava posed a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to both officers and to others.”