On Saturday, October 22, 2011, Michael Nida was filling his car up with gas. A Downey police officer, Officer Steven Gilley, fired a three round, fully automatic burst from his MP-5 submachine gun into Nida’s back.
The police claim that Nida fit the description of an armed robber, who had been described as wearing dark colored hoodies. Nida was wearing a yellow and blue polo shirt.
On October 24, 2012, Prosecutor Stephanie Sparagna announced “Given the rapidly evolving, dangerous situation that confronted Officer Gilley, we conclude that Officer Steven Gilley was justified in using deadly force to prevent Nida’s escape.” Her report is here, at: District-Attorney-report-on-Michael-Nida-shooting. In it you see references to witnesses, none of whom stated that Nida turned back towards the officers.
On May 9, 2013, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, the City of Downey settled the civil suit for $4.5 million, while admitting no wrong-doing.
You need to ask yourselves a couple of questions. First, do you want to live or work in a city where the police carry submachine guns? Second, does someone who just runs deserve to be shot with that same machine gun? Finally, what is the city council doing about it, to prevent it from happening again?
Officer Gilley is still working the streets of Downey, presumably with his MP-5.
- Downey To Pay $4.5M Settlement To Family Of Unarmed Man Killed By Police (losangeles.cbslocal.com)
- $4.5 Million Settlement for Family Of Unarmed Man Killed By Police with Submachine Gun (reason.com)
- Family of man killed by Downey police settles for $4.5 million (latimes.com)
- California’s vigilante police justice: Trial by machine gun (activistpost.com)