Media seeks videos of police killing unarmed man

Published 9:14 am Monday, July 13, 2015

LOS ANGELES — The fatal police shooting of an unarmed man in a Los Angeles suburb two years ago followed an erroneous police dispatch after a bicycle was stolen.

Ricardo Diaz-Zeferino was drunk and trying to help his brother find the bike when police, told to be on the lookout for two robbers, opened fire when he wouldn’t obey orders as they stopped him and two friends, according to an investigative review of the killing.

Video of the shooting captured on cameras in three police cars is at the center of a court fight today over whether the footage should be made public.

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A lawyer for The Associated Press and two other news outlets said the public has a right to view the video that was sealed in a federal lawsuit that the city of Gardena, California, settled for $4.7 million with Diaz-Zeferino’s family and another man who was wounded in the shooting.

“The burden is theirs to show they’re entitled to an ongoing sealing,” said Rochelle Wilcox, an attorney for AP, the Los Angeles Times and Bloomberg. “We think they haven’t even come close to meeting their burden. … The public policy strongly supports disclosure of this video, which was taken on a public street.”