No Charges for Officer in Submachine Gun Killing; Promised to 'Blow' Victim's 'Head Off'
Officer Steve Gilley of the Downey Police Department will not face charges from the Los Angeles District Attorney's office for the October 2011 submachine gun death of Michael Nida in Downey, Calif.
The prosecutor who investigated the killing said that Nida ignored warnings from police, including one from Gilley who promised to "blow [Nida's] head off." From the LA Times:
Prosecutor Stephanie Sparagna, however, wrote that Nida repeatedly resisted arrest and ran from police three times. He also ignored warnings from police, including one from the officer that he would "blow his head off" if Nida did not show his hands.
Sparagna found that Gilley reasonably feared Nida and was armed and dangerous, even though he eventually was determined not to be the robbery suspect and was unarmed. Sparagna said Gilley was required to make a split-second decision.
"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," she wrote in the report released Tuesday.
The killing of Michael Nida, 31, led to protests at the site of the shooting and in front of the Downey city council. Reason TV covered the story in "Cops with Machine Guns: The Killing of Michael Nida."