Police shootings: a new era of openness

San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar. CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD

Here is today’s column on new laws allowing the public to see police misconduct records. There are catches and conditions in these laws. Overal, though, they are a big step in the right direction.

Below is the complete statement by San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori-Verber Salazar on these new laws, followed by a chart of “officer-involved critical incidents” — police shootings and other incidents the D.A.’s Office is currently handling.

“The San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office supports opportunities to increase transparency. Two new California laws (Senate Bill 1421 and Assembly Bill 748) will allow the community to become informed and empowered to make a determination about events covered by these laws.

“Our Office has taken steps, long before any legislation, to provide transparency surrounding police involved fatal incidents. Our Officer Involved Critical Incident (OICI) Unit and I have been working collaboratively with community stakeholders, community-based organizations, and law enforcement to maintain an open dialogue on these issues.

“Our work in this area has allowed the District Attorney’s Office to become a national voice in finding solutions to the issues confronted by law enforcement and citizens regarding these critical incidents. I have met, and continue to do so, with elected prosecutors across the nation in various forums sharing ideas and working on dealing with the problems in this area.” – District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar

“NOTE: Both SB 1421 Assembly Bill 748 amend the California Public Records Act and each contain exceptions to protect either privacy or an active investigation.

*     *     *

The Office policy addresses more than officer-involved shootings. Our Officer Involved Critical Incident (OICI) Unit and Bureau of Investigations deals with critical incidents. These are incidents where a fatality, or sometimes a near-fatality, occurs during an encounter with law enforcement. This broad definition does not presupposed legal culpability.

There are currently twelve open OICI cases in the county that are either (a) being actively investigated; (b) being reviewed by our Office; or, (c) being prosecuted by our office.

Injured Party




Johnson, Victor Scott


 Oakdale PD


Proctor, Amari


Holscher, Rodger


Jones, Keian


Fogal, (2870)                                        Tuy, (2652)                                                     Morales  (2707)


Pailaita, Matthew


Bristow, Daniel      Carillo, Dominic


Tabotabo, Titus


Velasquez, Nestor             Strawder, John


Olsen, Evin


Wall, Justin (STAN. SO.)


Feliciano Jr., Jose Alberto


Ellis, Mitch (MPD)           Allen, Chris (CHP)     Glanville, Michael (CHP) Madrid, Adam (CHP)


Ambrosio-Aguilar, Luis


Belus, Justin


Bradley, Keenan


Knight, Michael


Watts, Rodney


Morales, Miguel          Guillen, Marvin


Cordova-Cuevas, Abelino


Garlic, Matthew  Woodward, Lucas


Filiberto Valencia


Digiulio, Jason              Amant, Kyle                 Freer, Pancho                Sgt. Mosher, Dana


 *     *     *

 Finally, Here is a SacBee Op-ed on police shootings and the law by the awesome scholar Erwin Chermerinsky.


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    Michael Fitzgerald

    Mike Fitzgerald is The Record’s award-winning metro columnist. His column runs in the paper three times a week. Born in San Francisco, he was raised in Stockton. His column covers diverse beats including, sometimes, the offbeat. Read Full
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