DA Won't File Charges Against Cops Who Fatally Shot Long Beach Man Wielding a Water Nozzle
The district attorney's office said today that it wasn't going to file any criminal charges against police who shot a Long Beach man who turned out to be "armed" only with a water nozzle.The officers acted “lawfully in self-defense and in the defense of others” when they shot 35-year-old Douglas Zerby on Dec. 12, 2010, the district attorney’s office said in a statement, according to the Associated Press.
The shooting happened last December on a Sunday afternoon when a neighbor called the police, thinking that Zerby was drunk and armed with a gun. He was drunk, but he turned out to be wielding nothing more than a "black pistol-grip water nozzle. Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell said at the time that his officers "believed the man had a gun and were awaiting the arrival of backup when the man pointed the object in a two-handed posture that looked like what a person would do when they are about to fire a weapon."
Zerby's family was concerned that the officers who responded to the call about a possibly intoxicated man did not identify themselves before opening fire. They have filed a federal civil rights and wrongful-death lawsuit against the city, which will continue, according to the family's attorney.