Monday , March 4 2024

Proposed Bill To Create Officer Involved Shooting Oversight

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A new bill could change the way officer involved shootings are investigated in California. Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, introduced a new bill to create an independent review panel within the Justice Department to examine excessive force by officers resulting in death. <br /><br />&quot;The idea here is the report should come from a third party. An unbiased source and that would remove the cloud that would bring about more trust,&quot; McCarty said. <br /><br />Fresno has dealt with cases of officers using excessive force in the past. In 2011, a Federal jury found Fresno Police Sgt. Mike Palomino used excessive force when he shot and killed Steven Vargas. <br /><br />Police Chief Jerry Dyer says officer involved shootings are investigated by the District Attorney and an independent auditor. He is not sure if more legislation is helpful. <br /><br />&quot;When we start creating all these layers of oversight and there is this incredible scrutiny and criticism of officers that pretty soon the officers are going to feel unsupported,&quot; Dyer said. <br /><br />Under the new bill the review panel would give a recommendation to the District Attorney’s office. McCarty says the third party is necessary because of how closely prosecutors work with police.<br /><br />Fresno District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp says her office does not handle officer involved shooting cases with bias. <br /><br />&quot;It’s not our job to worry about who the person is that we are reviewing, it is a matter of the conduct and the behavior and whether or not we feel a crime has been committed,&quot; Smittcamp said. <br /><br />The bill has received criticism. It only investigates excessive use of force by officers when someone dies and does not mention cases of assault for example. It also doesn’t give any legal authority to the review panels recommendation. <br /><br /></div>

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