As the country comes to grips with concerns surrounding police’s usage of lethal force, the family of a man who was shot and killed by San Diego Police previously this year is now taking legal action against the city and the officers included, requiring responses about what truly occurred that day.
Toby Diller, 31, was shot and killed by San Diego Officer Devion Johnson on January 24, 2020, at the crossway of 54 th Street and College Grove Drive in the Oak Park area. The shooting took place after Johnson and Officer Benjamin Downing went after Diller, and tackled him on the ground.
The San Diego Police Department launched body cam video footage of the occurrence and stated Diller had actually withstood arrest and grabbed an officer’s weapon, triggering a warranted usage of lethal force. But NBC 7 Investigates discovered inconsistencies in between what police informed the general public on the night of the shooting, and what the video reveals that eventful day.
Diller’s family states they are now looking for justice and responsibility.
“It breaks my heart to see my brother get shot right in his neck and get executed,” Diller’s sis, Nikita Diller informs NBC 7Investigates “Toby’s not coming back. And these police officers are probably still on the street with their guns.”
The January 24 th Shooting
In a modified video launched by the San Diego Police Department, Chief Dave Nisleit stated the occurrence preceding the shooting started on January 24, 2020, when Officers Downing and Johnson were driving down College GroveDrive The officers stated they observed Diller with an open container of alcohol “acting erratically.”
Video taped by a close-by clever streetlight cam programs Diller pacing backward and forward, with a bottle in his hands which he ultimately positions in a cart of his personal belongings.
The officers pull the automobile over the pathway in front of Diller, turn on their police car’s lights and swing open the automobile doors. As officers leap out of the automobile, you can see Diller flee. Officers Downing and Johnson both chase him.
Downing’s body cam reveals officers chasing after Diller through traffic up until lastly, they tackle him on the ground. The officers can be heard chewing out Diller to put his hands behind his back, and to turn over onto his stomach. Diller can be seen fighting with the officers and attempting to get up from off the ground.
One minute after officers left their automobiles, chased after Diller, and wound up on the ground over him, Officer Downing screams, “He’s got my gun, shoot it!”
The video programs Officer Johnson pulls his weapon and appears to shoot Diller in the back of his neck.
While the department states Diller gotten rid of Officer Downing’s weapon holster from his belt, this can not be seen plainly in the video. The department’s video consisted of a still frame of Officer Downing holding his removed weapon holster after the shooting, which they state shows Diller attempted to get his weapon.
Following the shooting, the next 10 seconds of audio taped by the body cam was redacted by SDPD. The department stated, “This segment of redaction does not contain any dialogue between officers. It was redacted because of graphic audio that was a result of the gunshot wound to Mr. Diller. We consider that audio disturbing and its release, in this form, would be disrespectful and gratuitous.”
Watch the complete body webcam video listed below. Warning, the video is graphic and portrays a deadly officer-involved shooting.
On the night of the shooting, Lieutenant Matt Dobbs with SDPD informed press reporters that after the shooting, “officers provided first aid to the suspect until San Diego Fire-Rescue personnel arrived on the scene, when they pronounced the suspect deceased.”
But the video does disappoint officers administering emergency treatment.
Instead, Downing and Johnson can be seen trying to handcuff Diller as he bleeds out from the gunshot injury. Eventually, 13 seconds after Diller is handcuffed, the officers step away, and the video cuts off prior to medical workers gets here on-scene.
“Why did a basic police stop result in a state executed bullet to the head?”
Robert and Nikita Diller battle back tears as they speak about the bro they lost on January24 All 3 brother or sisters state they were orphans who had actually gone through the San Diego County foster care system, which they just had each other.
Nikita and Robert state Toby remained in and out of imprisonment, and in between, bounced from residing in midway houses around the location.
At the time of the shooting, Toby was homeless.
“Toby honestly was ‘the party,’ he was the funny guy,” Nikita Diller states. “Even in his strife, Toby always had the biggest heart. Even in his homelessness, he always wanted to bless people, he would give you the shirt off his back.”
The Dillers state police waited 3 days after the shooting prior to officers informed them of Toby’s death. But the responses from police, and subsequent video launched, has actually just raised more concerns.
“Why did a basic police stop result in a state executed bullet to the head?” states Diller family lawyer EmilyHowe “We’re seeing a pandemic of police killing unarmed civilians. The family and San Diegans deserve the truth, accountability, understanding of policies, and procedures that actually preserve life. We keep seeing individuals who are unarmed, shot, killed, and brutalized. There needs to be a systemic change in a peaceful manner.”
Last week, the Dillers submitted a suit versus the city of San Diego, and officers Downing andJohnson
Since 2009, NBC 7 Investigates discovered the city of San Diego has actually paid more than $27 million to settle claims of extreme force, officer misbehavior, and unlawful arrests by the San Diego Police Department, according to records detailing city payments for prosecuted and non-litigated claims.
San Diego Police would not comment for this story or launch the work status of the officers included, mentioning pending lawsuits. In the produced video launched by the department in March, Chief Nisleit stated the deadly shooting was under examination.
“In presenting this video, we are not drawing any conclusions about what happened in this incident,” Nisleit states, including that an internal examination’s findings will exist to the San Diego County District Attorney’s workplace for independent evaluation. Nisleit likewise specifies its basic procedure for the U.S. Attorney’s workplace and Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) to keep track of the case.
The San Diego County District Attorney’s workplace states it’s presently evaluating the shooting and had no timeline for when that evaluation would be finished.
The preliminary offense for which officers chose to stop Diller – the open container infraction – total up to a $100-200 fine in the city of San Diego.
The Diller family states the suit has to do with holding the police department liable.
“I do want the officers to be held accountable. There needs to be true transparency. I want the footage that was redacted to not be. You need to have an open dialogue with your community.”