WATCH: Newly Released Video Raises Questions About Man Who Was Shot by CHP Officer


California Highway Patrol Officer Paul Shadwell approaches the passenger side of the parked Toyota sedan with his hands on his hips, saying something to the driver sitting inside.

Within eight seconds, Daniel Shaham emerges from the driver’s side, and Shadwell draws his pistol and aims it at the 31-year-old Sacramento man, who appears to have something in his right hand. Sixteen seconds later, Shadwell opens fire, shooting Shaham four times and killing him.

Shadwell calls in the shooting, but the video doesn’t show him trying to help the young man on the ground. Instead, he puts up police tape. Eventually other officers arrive and begin CPR on Shaham – 23 minutes after he is shot.

These are the images from newly released video showing the June 2016 confrontation in which Shadwell shot and killed Shaham on an Interstate 5 overpass near Yreka, a case that has spawned a federal wrongful death lawsuit and conflicting accounts of whether Shadwell was justified in using deadly force.

“It’s shocking,” said Oakland attorney Michael Haddad, who is suing the CHP on behalf of Shaham’s mother, Sacramento physician Denise Smart. “It’s one of the most notorious shooting videos I’ve seen. If you just believe your own eyes watching the video, anyone can see Daniel is no threat.”

Law enforcement authorities in Siskiyou County, where the shooting took place, disagree, saying Shaham had a folding knife in his right hand and that the use of deadly force was justified.

“He believed and was afraid that Shaham was going to try to kill him,” District Attorney Kirk Andrus wrote in his Aug. 10 report on the shooting. “He discharged his firearm to stop that threat.”

In the video recordings, released to The Sacramento Bee in response to a California Public Records Act request, Shadwell is seen after he has approached a car where Shaham was parked on a roadway over Interstate 5 north of Weed. Shadwell appears to order Shaham out of the car. Within seconds, Shaham is dead and lying on the pavement.

The video records Shadwell after the shooting reporting over the radio that he has been involved in a “combat shooting” and that the suspect is “1144,” or likely dead. The recording shows Shadwell subsequently stringing police tape along the roadway as he awaits assistance in the remote area, and waving a passing car away from the scene. But it does not show him approaching the body or providing medical assistance.

Other officers arrive on the scene about 19 minutes later, and begin performing CPR efforts 23 minutes after the shooting, according to the video. Those efforts continue for about 12 minutes.

The videos were recorded by the mobile vehicle audio recording system in Shadwell’s CHP patrol car, and include a nearly four-minute recording of Shadwell’s initial contact with Shaham and a nearly two-hour recording of the follow-up contact during which Shadwell shoots Shaham.

The CHP initially declined to release the videos to The Bee, but later agreed to provide redacted versions that blur out the image of Shaham’s body lying next to his car after he is shot, as well as his face. The agency also provided access to the video to Haddad, whose lawsuit is pending in federal court in Sacramento.

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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