Body cam video shows unarmed, mentally-ill man shot by Fresno police

FRESNO, Calif. -- The family of a mentally ill man who was fatally shot by Fresno officers in September released dramatic police body-cam footage depicting the incident.

The footage shows Freddy Centeno being shot by Fresno police seven times on Sept. 3, 2015.

The video filmed from the officers' perspective shows them pulling up to Centeno on the street, shouting at him to get on the ground and firing at him multiple times within seconds.

The 40-year-old father died in the hospital on Sept. 26.

Centeno's family is suing the Fresno Police Department over the shooting saying Centeno, who is mentally ill, was unarmed when police started shooting him "commando style."
Humberto Guizar, an attorney for the family, said: "The death of an unarmed mentally ill man without provocation is a tragic event as Mr. Centeno leaves behind a young child and loving parents."

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The clip released Thursday from a police body camera shows officers shooting 40-year-old Freddy Centeno.

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer defended the shooting, saying the video depicts Centeno reaching in his pocket for something that appeared to be a gun. It turned out to be a black hose attachment with a trigger-style nozzle.

Dyer played the video frame-by-frame, pointing out a spot where Centeno appears to be reaching for his pocket and an object is in his hand.

"Which clearly appears to be a handgun," Dyer said. "And then the next one, and he begins to raise it, and that's when the officers feared for their life and fired their weapons."

Dyer also played the 911 call which first alerted police to Centeno in which a woman says he came to her door, pulled a gun and claimed he was a federal agent.

But Guizar says the video shows the officers did not give Centeno a chance to respond to their commands to get on the ground and that Centeno never raised the nozzle toward the officers.

"This is a bad shooting," Guizar said. "This is an atrocity."

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