FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!

Dynamic Plaques - FVT Plaques
FVT Plaques is introducing new dynamic plaques to recognize police and sheriff's...

Legally Defensible Training Records

Ask The Expert

Ari Vidali

CEO and Founder of Envisage Technologies

Top News

Prosecutor's Duty Is to Seek Justice When Police Use Force, Says L.A. DA

March 03, 2016  | 

Jackie Lacey (Official Photo: L.A. County DA's Office)
Jackie Lacey (Official Photo: L.A. County DA's Office)

Jackie Lacey, district attorney of Los Angeles County, wrote a column for the Los Angeles Daily News:

When allegations of excessive force are leveled against law enforcement officers, it causes me deep concern. I understand the public's anger over what they may perceive as unjustified uses of force by those we entrust to protect us. I take these cases — and the public's demand for accountability — very seriously.

As the county's top prosecutor, it is my legal and ethical obligation to remain impartial until a rigorous and thorough investigation is completed in each and every case.

Since I took office in December 2012, there have been more than 290 officer-involved shootings throughout Los Angeles County.

My office conducts an independent investigation every time a police officer or sheriff's deputy shoots someone in the line of duty. We send our District Attorney Response Team (DART) to the scene immediately. Each team consists of an experienced prosecutor and a seasoned investigator. They are on-call 24/7 every day of the year.

We believe that being present at the scene of an officer-involved shooting reminds everyone affected — law enforcement officers, the family of the injured or deceased, witnesses and the community — that impartial prosecutors are watching.

By law and protocol, the DART team does not take over the investigation. The law enforcement agency involved must complete its own internal investigation and present its findings to our office for the possible filing of criminal charges.

After a comprehensive review of all of the evidence presented, there is only one question that we, as prosecutors, must answer: Can we prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the officer acted unlawfully?

In every case, we issue a detailed report that summarizes the event, witness statements and our legal findings. The report is public.

Sometimes, there is confusion over the district attorney's role when a law enforcement agency finds that an officer-involved shooting was out of policy or the officer used improper tactics. Acting out of policy and using improper tactics are not crimes.

But they may — and often do — result in costly civil lawsuits. State, county and city officials may make risk-management decisions: They settle these lawsuits for large amounts of money rather than go to trial and risk multimillion-dollar jury verdicts.

Our mission to represent the people of Los Angeles County is clear and unambiguous: We apply the law and file criminal charges based solely on the facts and the law — not on emotion, anger or external pressure.

When justice is perverted and decisions are made based on anything but the evidence, such as the defendant’s social status, position in the community, education, job, power or lack of power, then we have failed and our community suffers irreparable harm.

My job is to make certain that every shooting is thoroughly reviewed in accordance with the law. To that end, I am confident that if you look at our legal analysis based on the evidence we had at the time, you will find that we made the right call in every case.

I am proud of the work we do.

You can read the entire column from the Los Angeles Daily News.


Comments (3)

Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

Percy @ 3/4/2016 8:41 PM

AHAHAAAHAAHAHAH, oh wait is she trying to be serious?

Leonard @ 3/5/2016 4:49 PM

She's the same DA that said the CHP officer was justified in beating the hell out of that woman last year in the highway median...for the woman's own safety. The whole country saw the cop was wrong yet she justified it anyway. Perhaps if she gave the same benefit of doubt to average civilians she would have a point. The whole system is corrupt and there's nothing she can say to changes it.

Joe @ 3/11/2016 7:52 AM

@Percy and @Leonard

You two are absolute morons. You see everything in the news and internet as factual that just goes to show how small mind liberal morons you two are. Get off the computer and out of your mothers basements and get a job. O wait you two are related to Obama and he gives everything to you in those monthly checks and that is why you two have so much time to tickle each other with your pink feathers.

Join the Discussion





POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.

Other Recent News

Police Shoot Off-Duty TN Deputy, Wouldn't Drop Gun
Police shot and killed an off-duty sheriff's deputy celebrating his birthday with friends...
Man Tied to Gun Used In Fatal Shooting of OR Sergeant Gets 12 Years
"I appreciate that you are not the one who caused the death of a heroic sworn officer,''...
AZ Bill Would Bump Up Penalty for Assault on Off-Duty Police
Arizona lawmakers on Tuesday engaged in a heated debate over whether they should approve a...
Video: Driver Hits Capitol Police Cruiser, Suspect in Custody
A woman in a vehicle tried to ram a police cruiser on the U.S. Capitol grounds Wednesday...
Kentucky Officer Injured in Pursuit Crash Dies
A Louisville (KY) Metro Police Department officer who was in critical condition after a...

Get Your FREE Trial Issue and Win a Gift! Subscribe Today!
Yes! Please rush me my FREE TRIAL ISSUE of POLICE magazine and FREE Officer Survival Guide with tips and tactics to help me safely get out of 10 different situations.

Just fill in the form to the right and click the button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.

If POLICE does not satisfy you, just write "cancel" on the invoice and send it back. You'll pay nothing, and the FREE issue is yours to keep. If you enjoy POLICE, pay only $25 for a full one-year subscription (12 issues in all). Enjoy a savings of nearly 60% off the cover price!

Offer valid in US only. Outside U.S., click here.
It's easy! Just fill in the form below and click the red button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.
First Name:
Last Name:
Rank:
Agency:
Address:
City:
State:
  
Zip Code:
 
Country:
We respect your privacy. Please let us know if the address provided is your home, as your RANK / AGENCY will not be included on the mailing label.
E-mail Address:

Police Magazine