Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pressure by the People does yield Results

Politicians who are scared of the People will attempt to secure their standing in the community, and secure votes for their ideology, by making concessions, such as "Investigations" which may white-wash evidence of a department-wide system of obstruction... as long as the public is fooled to think that some type of progress is made, no Justice is met.
Remember: Justice for Guy Jarreau, jr.! Justice for Jared! Justice for Mario Romero, and Joseph Johnson! Justice for ALL Victims of Harassment, Violent Abuse, Smear Tactics, and for the Families of those Murdered by Police.

2012-09-19 "Vallejo mayor seeks independent probe of Romero shooting; Davis says state attorney general should review controversial officer-involved fatality" by Ted Vollmer, Sarah Rohrs and Irma Widjojo from "Vallejo Times-Herald"

Vallejo Mayor Osby Davis said Wednesday that he will seek an independent investigation into the recent officer-involved shooting death of Mario Romero.
Davis said he will ask the City Council to request that Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris' office look into concerns raised since police officers killed Romero while he sat in his car outside his North Vallejo home early Sept. 2.
Police contend that when officers approached Romero's car, he reached for a weapon that turned out to be a pellet gun, and that is why they fired at him. Family members, however, have vehemently denied that he had such a weapon. They also denied contentions that there were 50 ecstasy pills in the vehicle.
"It must be understood that this request should not be taken as an indication of a lack of confidence in the established Solano County Officer Involved Shooting Protocol, or any lack of confidence in the Vallejo Police Department or the ability of the District Attorney's office to conduct fair investigations," Davis said in a statement.
"However, it is my belief that under the current circumstances a secondary review will help to establish trust in the process."
Family members who had called for an outside investigation were not immediately available for comment.
Under the current protocol, officer-involved shootings are investigated not only by the Vallejo Police Department, but also by the Solano County District Attorney's office. No results of those investigations have been completed, but Romero supporters last week called for an independent investigation either by an outside police agency or the attorney general.
Interim Vallejo Police Chief Joseph Kreins said shortly after Davis issued his statement that he sees the independent review as a good thing if it will "restore or enhance the public's trust and the department's credibility."
"The more set of eyes you can put on something is a good thing," Kreins told the Times-Herald. Kreins added that he does not think that any attorney general review will produce a different outcome than the district attorney's office investigation.
"The (D.A's investigation process) has worked for many years and continues to work," Kreins said. "But when folks are suggesting that they don't have the confidence in that process, then I have no problem with an independent review."
Davis' statements were issued a day after the Vallejo City Council abruptly ended a study session on the economy after protesters suddenly filled the council chambers and demanded to speak about the officer-involved shootings. The week before, dozens spoke to the council decrying not only the Sept. 2 incident but also four other fatal officer-involved shootings this year.
In addition to asking that Harris intervene, Davis said he will ask that the city manager move to buy in-car cameras to be integrated with the vehicle's mobile data computers and emergency systems in every Vallejo police patrol vehicle.
He also proposed buying more body cameras for all patrol officers. Currently, only some officers wear them, and then only on a voluntary basis.
Neither camera type were available in the Romero case, Kreins said.
Kreins said his goal is to have all officers issued a body camera, but keeping it as a discretionary process.
"My issue with not keeping it discretionary is that it might interfere with the officer's safety and the critical incident at hand," Kreins said. "The last thing I want my officer is worried about the cameras at a critical scene. In our job things happen very quickly."
However, it might take months until all 45 vehicles in the Vallejo police fleet to be equipped with these cameras.
"I'm hoping it's something that we can do in the next few months. But there's the issue of money and technology," Kreins said. He added that it will cost about $10,000 per car to get the cameras set up and the officers trained with them.
"I'm hopeful the City Council will authorize those funds," Kreins added.
A proponent of in-car cameras, Kreins said that they will eliminate those worries since they will turn on and off automatically.
Davis also asked City Manager Dan Keen to:
• Conduct research to select and implement a decision-based firearms/use of force training simulator system.
• Reaffirm the Police Department's protocol and procedure for communicating with the public and families in incidents concerning loss of life or great bodily injury as a result of violence. The Romero family, in particular, has angrily contended that police have not communicated properly with them, or in a timely way about the shooting.
• Propose a time frame for re-establishing and reconstituting the Vallejo Human Relations Commission.
"It becomes difficult at times to protect and serve when trust and communication may be in doubt," Davis said. "City Hall, including our police department, must have the trust of the public."

Vallejo Mayor Osby Davis (Times-Herald file photo)

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