POCATELLO — The Pocatello Police Department has released dash and body camera footage of the February fatal officer-involved shooting in south Pocatello that left a 23-year-old Fort Hall man dead.
The police car dash camera footage, obtained by the Idaho State Journal on Friday, depicts Neal Stuart Nevada charging toward Pocatello police while wielding two large kitchen knives.
Nevada quickly leaves the view of the dash camera at which point gunshots can be heard from the two Pocatello police officers who fatally shot him.
Additionally, the Journal recently obtained a May 27 report by Twin Falls County Prosecutor Grant Loebs who along with Idaho State Police reviewed the shooting to determine if the lethal use of force by Pocatello police was justified.
Loebs said in his report that there was “insufficient evidence to support a criminal charge against any law enforcement officers for the shooting of Neal Nevada.”
Dash camera footage from a Pocatello police car of the officer-involved shooting of 23-year-old Neal Stuart Nevada on Feb. 25. The video conta…
The Pocatello police camera footage provided to the Journal on Friday includes video from the dash camera of a police car that shows the seconds leading up to the fatal shooting and audio of Nevada being shot off-camera, as well as body camera footage worn by an officer who made contact with the woman who initially contacted police about a disturbance involving Nevada. The officer’s body camera footage also shows her responding to the shooting scene where she and other officers performed life-saving efforts on Nevada until paramedics arrived.
The Journal edited the officer’s body camera video that it posted on its website, idahostatejournal.com, to remove graphic scenes showing Nevada’s body following the shooting.
The incident leading up to the fatal Feb. 25 police shooting of Nevada began to unfold around 11:13 p.m. when Pocatello police received a 911 call about a disturbance from a woman who said her daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend, Nevada, were at an apartment on the 400 block of East Dunn Street in south Pocatello, according to Loebs’ report.
The woman, who was also at the apartment, informed Pocatello police during the 911 call that Nevada was destroying items in a bedroom of the apartment, according to Loebs’ report. The woman said that Nevada, armed with a kitchen knife, tried to grab her daughter and take her into a bedroom of the apartment before holding the knife up to his own throat and this behavior was causing the woman to feel unsafe, Loebs stated in his report.
Nevada armed himself with two kitchen knives and then fled the apartment with his girlfriend, the woman’s daughter, before police arrived, Loebs said in his report. The knives had blades of 7 inches and 6 inches, Loebs said.
Pocatello police responded to the East Dunn Street apartment and made contact with the woman who called 911.
Body camera footage from a Pocatello police officer of the events surrounding the fatal officer-involved shooting of 23-year-old Neal Stuart N…
The female police officer’s body camera shows the woman who called 911 telling officers that her daughter owned a silver Pontiac Grand Prix.
Loebs said in his report that Pocatello police recalled seeing the car traveling southbound on South Third Avenue just before they arrived at the East Dunn Street apartment.
A Pocatello police officer then located the Pontiac on Stansbury Street near the intersection of South Second Avenue, a few blocks from the apartment, and initiated a traffic stop, according to Loebs’ report.
The officer observed the female driver, later identified as the daughter of the woman who called 911, and a male passenger, who the officer recognized as Nevada from a previous incident, exiting the Pontiac, Loebs said, adding that the officer noticed Nevada was armed with two knives.
Loebs’ report says the officer, who was not wearing a body camera and did not activate his patrol car’s dash camera, got out of his patrol car and observed Nevada walk to the middle of the roadway in front of the Pontiac and begin jumping up and down and pacing back and forth.
The officer ordered Nevada to drop the knives, to which Nevada replied, “No,” Loebs’ report says. The woman’s daughter then approached the officer, asking him not to hurt Nevada and the officer commanded her to move out of the way so as not to obstruct his view of Nevada, Loebs’ report says.
The dash camera video provided to the Journal depicts another Pocatello police officer turning right onto Stansbury Street from South Fourth Avenue at 11:21 p.m. on Feb. 25. After passing Bremmer Park on Stansbury Street, the officer activates his emergency lights before arriving at the scene involving the other officer, Nevada and Nevada’s girlfriend, the dash camera video shows.
At this point the girlfriend’s voice can be heard on the dash camera’s audio saying “Neal, stop.”
The dash camera video then shows Nevada running in the opposite direction of the responding officers on Stansbury Street. It’s at this juncture that the police officer who had activated his dash camera can be seen beginning to exit his police car just as Nevada turns around and begins running toward the officers while wielding the two large knives, according to the dash camera footage. The video appears to show Nevada pivoting and losing a shoe, but he continues running toward the officers and quickly leaves the view of the dash camera.
Loebs refers to the policeman who had activated his dash camera as the “second officer” in his report.
“Nevada began to move further away and the second officer believed that Nevada was attempting to flee.” Loebs wrote in his report. “Suddenly, Nevada turned and ran towards the second officer. He saw Nevada holding two large ‘butcher’ style knives, one in each hand.”
Over the span of four seconds captured on the officer’s dash camera, Nevada is seen in the video charging toward both officers in an aggressive manner while welding the knives and the officers can be heard addressing Nevada by his first name and shouting for him to “stop right there.”
As soon as Nevada leaves the view of the dash camera the officers can be heard on the video’s audio firing their pistols a total of eight times at him.
“At approximately 11:22 p.m., the second officer quickly began backing up as Nevada ran towards him,” Loebs says in his report. “He ordered Nevada to ‘stop right there.’ Nevada did not stop. Both officers fired their weapons as Nevada continued to ignore orders to stop and continued to approach the second officer.”
Loebs’ report then says that a mortally wounded Nevada fell to the ground.
Pocatello police said the officers hit Nevada with five of their eight shots.
The body-camera footage from the female officer who had made contact with the woman who called 911 shows police providing medical attention to Nevada until Pocatello Fire Department paramedics arrived on the scene to continue resuscitation efforts.
Nevada was pronounced dead at the scene, Loebs said.
In his report, Loebs describes the clothing worn by the two police officers who shot Nevada as being such that clearly indicated they were members of law enforcement, as did the markings on their Pocatello police vehicles.
Further, Loebs describes Nevada as someone who “was known to the Pocatello Police Department for involvement in criminal activities.”
Pocatello police had previously charged Nevada with assault against an officer, battery, resisting and obstructing, and assault and battery. Nevada had failed to appear in court to answer the charges against him on multiple occasions, prompting warrants to be issued for his arrest, Loebs said. There was such a warrant for Nevada’s arrest at the time of the shooting.
Loebs cleared the officers of any wrongdoing due to the fact the officers were “lawfully engaged in attempting to contact Neal Nevada for questioning regarding the disturbance at Dunn Street,” adding that “officers are authorized to use all reasonable and necessary means and are justified in using deadly force to overcome resistance when having probable cause to believe the resistance poses a threat of death or serious physical injury to the officers or other persons.”
Loebs stated, “When Nevada was confronted by Pocatello police officers, Nevada aggressively approached them armed with two large kitchen knives. Both officers involved were readily identifiable as police officers and gave lawful verbal commands for Nevada to stop and drop his weapons. Nevada refused to comply with their commands. The officers had a justifiable fear for their safety and the safety of the public.”
The names of the two Pocatello police officers who fatally shot Nevada have not been released.
Loebs and Idaho State Police investigated the use of force by the officers as part of the East Idaho Critical Incident Task Force, a multi-law enforcement agency organization that investigates incidents in which local police fire their weapons to determine if officers acted properly. Loebs based his report on the findings by state police in their investigation of the officers’ use of deadly force against Nevada.
Pocatello Police Chief Roger Schei declined to comment on the shooting of Nevada because of pending litigation surrounding the incident.