The family of a mentally ill man shot by California police officers last year is filing a lawsuit against the Fresno Police Department.
Freddy Centeno, 40-years-old, was holding a black plastic spray nozzle of a garden hose when officers, Zebulon Price and Felipe Miguel Lucero, shot him seven times in September 3, 2015. The Fresno Police Department declared the shooting “more than justified” because the officers feared for their lives.
Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer played raw boy camera footage at a press conference Thursday, pausing at the alleged moment that shows Centeno reaching into his pocket. “There it comes right there, which clearly appears to be a handgun,” he told reporters. “And that’s when the officers feared for their life and fired their weapons.”
Dyer played audio from a 911 call made by a woman who reported a shirtless man threatening her with a small handgun and claiming to be a federal agent.
The entire footage shows police driving up to Centeno ordering him to get on the ground. When Centeno refused the order, the officers fire at him. He was taken to a hospital where he died weeks later.
The family’s lawyer, Humberto Guizer said the officers did not give Centeno a chance to respond. “They tell him to get on the ground. He didn’t have the chance to get on the ground you could count the time, until they stopped the car, one second, before they began to fire.”
Centeno’s brother, Roger, told the Fresno Bee last year that Freddy suffered from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.