Footage released: San Diego officers cleared in four shootings and one in-custody death

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SAN DIEGO, CAKBPS is reporting that the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office has cleared law enforcement officers involved in two fatal, two non-fatal, and one in-custody death, dating back to June of 2019.

The DA’s office reports were released along with video footage of the incidents.  The DA’s office stated that in each case, the officers’ actions were justified.

One of the fatal incidents was the shooting of Dennis Carolino, 53, who was shot seven times, as he rushed a San Diego Police Officer with a metal shovel.  Police had been called to the scene by Carolino’s aunt who told them that her nephew became upset with her after she asked him to clean up the shed where he was living in the backyard, and threw a brick at her.

She can be heard telling the police that her nephew suffered from mental problems.

One of the officers fired a stun gun, “it was ineffective at stopping Carolino,” the DA’s Office said, leading the other officer to fire multiple times, killing Carolino.

The DA’s office said:

“Carolino indicated by his behavior that he was willing and attempting to assault and cause harm to both officers.”

The second fatal incident occurred on January 24, 2020, and involved the shooting of 31 year old Toby Diller.

Diller was contacted for holding an open container of alcohol, and then proceeded to lead police on a foot chase up 54th street.  He was tackled, and a struggle ensued.  Diller allegedly grabbed a holstered gun from an officer’s holster.

The officer can be heard saying:

“He has my gun.  Shoot Him.”

 Another officer then fired a shot hitting Diller in the face.

The DA’s Office said in a statement:

“it is objectively reasonable that an officer in the same situation would have reason to believe that there was an imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm, not only to himself, but to his partner.”

Diller’s family has filed a federal lawsuit against the city of San Diego and both officers, alleging wrongful death, and claiming that Diller did not take the officer’s gun.

Additionally, three San Diego police officers were also cleared in the arrest and in-custody death of 40-year-old Buddie Nichols on June 11, 2019.  Police were called to the scene of a home burglary, in which a resident called police to say a man had broken into his home.

Officers arrested Nichols, though “it took all three officers to handcuff Nichols,” who the DA’s Office said appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance, and was “screaming and thrashing about with his body” during the arrest.

Paramedics arrived, and Nichols was transported to UCSD Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. 

The medical examiners findings determined that his death was accidental, and was caused by:

“resuscitated arrest due to sudden cardiac arrhythmia due to excited delirium while intoxicated on methamphetamine.”

The medical examiner’s report also said Nichols had:

“numerous blunt force injuries to his head, face, torso and extremities,”

as well as:

“fractures to his ribs and sternum,”

but concluded:

“these injuries did not contribute to Nichols’ death.”

Officers were also cleared in two non-fatal shootings that occurred in El Cajon and San Diego.he DA’s Office.

The decision made by the district attorney’s office means that none of the officers involved will face criminal actions or job reprisals.  Civil actions may still be brought, and at least one is pending in San Diego County.

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Here is another police involved shooting incident in San Diego, where a suspect grabbed an officers gun, and was shot. 

SAN DIEGO, CA – Just because a suspect is cuffed – doesn’t mean they’re always secured. Officials from the San Diego Police Department reportedly shot a suspect recently who managed to slip out of their handcuffs after being arrested and gained control of a handgun.

On the evening of July 5th, officers from the SDPD were responding to a call of a 25-year-old male subject who was allegedly threatening security staff members at a downtown hotel.

According to SDPD Captain Rich Freedman, the officers who responded were able to detain the suspect without incident and get him into the back of a vehicle that was destined for SDPD headquarters.

Unbeknownst to the officers transporting the suspect, he reportedly slipped out of the handcuffs while inside the back of the SUV.

Apparently, in the backseat of the SUV happened to be an officer’s backpack that carried a secondary weapon. Captain Freedman detailed what happened when officers arrived at headquarters:

“They went to go check on him and saw that the male was armed and they ended up backing up, drawing their handguns and backing up. It was during that time the male presented the handgun, the officers felt threatened and at least three officers fired at least one round, striking the male as he was seated in the vehicle.”

Police say that the suspect was at least struck once by officers’ gunfire in the upper chest, but was said to have also shot once toward police as well. The suspect then reportedly reached out through the car window and let himself out of the police SUV while still in possession of the weapon.

Officers deployed a K-9 after the suspect did not comply with repeated commands to relinquish the weapon. The deployed K-9 bit the male suspect prior to officers being able to re-administer handcuffs to the subject.

The suspect was transported to a local hospital, having sustained non-life-threatening injuries from the exchanged gunfire.

Luckily, no officers were injured in the incident. The investigation into the matter is still ongoing, and officials have not released the identity of the suspect or the officers involved at this time.

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