DA Gascon forms team to re-examine fatal use-of-force incidents

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon announced Wednesday the formation of an independent team to reexamine fatal use- of-force incidents by law enforcement and recommend further action when appropriate.

“Significant concerns have been raised by law enforcement officials, civil rights attorneys, activists and others regarding the handling of numerous police use-of-force cases,” Gascon said.

“In order to restore trust and move forward as a community, I am convening this group to thoroughly review the evidence and make recommendations on cases that we may need to examine more closely.”

The Factual Analysis Citizen Consulting Team (FACCT) is a group composed of civil rights attorneys, scholars and constitutional police practices experts who will identify, prioritize and review use-of-force cases, including those in which there is contrary forensic evidence or witness testimony, evidence from a civil or criminal case or impeachment evidence.

Once cases have been identified, FACCT will work with UC Irvine law students, who will review case files and make presentations to FACCT members on their findings. The group is also assisted by students from USC’s Dornsife Trial Advocacy Program.

FACCT members will not opine whether charges should be filed. Instead, the team will present findings and additional evidence that may be contrary to the prior decision to decline to prosecute.

The District Attorney’s Office will ultimately decide whether additional investigation is necessary, if the matter should be assigned to a special prosecutor or if criminal charges are filed.

There may be compelling or dispositive confidential or otherwise unavailable evidence that FACCT does not review.

“Until there is a standard that mandates a shooting is lawful when it is absolutely necessary and the last resort, we are going to continue to have unnecessary shootings that cause public outcry and skepticism,” Gascon said.

“We eventually need to create legislation that gives the county the ability to create a separate entity that can independently review these cases.”

Gascon first announced his intention to launch FACCT in a letter he sent to the county’s police chiefs on the day of his inauguration in December. The FACCT team will rely on the individuals listed in three categories below:

Civil rights attorneys, scholars and activists:

— Shimica Gaskins, executive director of the Children’s Defense Fund, California, and former acting deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Policy of the U.S. Department of Justice;

— Je Yon Jung, civil rights attorney; former senior trial attorney for the Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau;

— Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, and constitutional scholar

— Barry Litt, civil rights attorney and partner at McLane, Bednarski and Litt, LLP;

— Paula Minor, Black Lives Matter, Los Angeles organizer and activist;

— Carlos Montes, Centro CSO-Chicano activist and organizer; Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council board member

— Melanie Ochoa, senior staff attorney for Criminal Justice and Police Practices, American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California;

— Olu Orange, director of the University of Southern California Dornsife Trial Advocacy Program and Agents of Change Civil Rights Advocacy Initiative; civil rights attorney at Orange Law Offices, P.C.;

— Robert Saltzman, commissioner, Los Angeles County Probation Oversight Commission and West Hollywood Business License Commission; former commissioner, Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners; former associate dean, USC Gould School of Law.

Academic law clinics/programs:

— Professor Paul Hoffman, director Civil Rights Clinic and partner at Schonbrun, DeSimone, Seplow, Harris, & Hoffman, LLP;

— Professor Katie Tinto, director Criminal Justice Clinic and Clinical Professor of Law; former public defender, Alternate Public Defender’s Office of Los Angeles County;

— Melanie Partow — lecturer, Civil Rights Clinic and civil rights attorney.

Police practices experts and advisors:

— Theron Bowman, former chief of police Arlington, Texas; former deputy city manager/director public safety for Arlington; and CEO, Theron L. Bowman Inc.;

— Allwyn Brown, former chief of police, Richmond, California and LERT Ops lead at Tik Tok;

— Roger Clark, former lieutenant, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and CEO, Police Practices Consultant, Inc.

— Frank Fernandez, president of Blueprints 4 Safety; former deputy chief and chief of operations for Miami Police Department; and former public safety director for Coral Gables, Florida.

Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.

CNS-06-16-2021 22:46

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Jim Nasium
Jim Nasium
1 year ago

I’d pay big bucks to see Gascon and Villanueva fight it out inside a boxing ring. If Gascon wins, all criminals get out of jail. If Villanueva wins, Gascon goes back to San Francisco. My money is on Villanueva.

Ham Shipey
Ham Shipey
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Nasium

There’s nothing American about Gascon. Destroying this city.

Michael
Michael
1 year ago

The deputies involved in the shooting death by a deputy of one young man and the wounding of another at 939 Palm Ave., an incident for which Los Angeles County paid $7.5 million to settle a civil lawsuit. The deputies were disciplined with some “weak” long course AND put right back on the streets of West Hollywood. You could see them having breakfast for a 50 percent discount at the French Quarter. John Heilman and John Duran were on the City Council. They were congratulating the local Sheriff’s Deputies in charge after the Palm Avenue shooting. During the LA County… Read more »

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
1 year ago

Glad to see Robert Saltzman as part of this team. It was just a few years ago the Sheriff’s Department shot two unarmed men who lived on Palm Avenue as they escaped from a hostage situation. One died and the other was seriously injured all due to sheer incompetence on the part of the Sheriff’s department. These sorts of wrongful deaths have added millions of dollars to the Sheriff’s budget which ultimately gets absorbed by the contract cities, such as West Hollywood. This investigation if long over due.

carleton cronin
carleton cronin
1 year ago

Reformers are always in trouble because they upset long held practices and beliefs – right or wrong. Gascon has few friends because he asks elected and appointed administrators to do the right thing not just pick ump their pay and cause no trouble. Perhaps a do-nothing like our current sheriff is more acceptable because he doesn’t make the citizens think about the alternatives to moribund systems such as money bail and fixed sentencing. Why bother with judges if they cannot alter sentences and bail conditions?

WehoFan
WehoFan
1 year ago

You are out of touch with reality.

Ham Shipey
Ham Shipey
1 year ago

????? Good grief.

William Seegmiller
William Seegmiller
1 year ago

Agree with his politics or not, Gascon was elected on the people’s mandate for reform, and is competently pursuing many of the priorities on his platform. I say give him the chance to see them through, the data tends to confirm alternatives to incarceration prevent crime

Last edited 1 year ago by William Seegmiller
Ham Shipey
Ham Shipey
1 year ago

Gascon is a clown. We need to replace him ASAP.

WehoFan
WehoFan
1 year ago

Gascon is trying to ruin LA the same way he ruined SF. Why is he the DA?

john
john
1 year ago
Reply to  WehoFan

Gascon tries to hide what he is doing under the guise of, “social justice.”
His policies free criminals, handcuff police, and have no positive effect for hard working, law abiding citizens. He is an arrogant clown who thinks he is the smartest guy in the room. Unless you are a criminal, why on earth would you vote for this guy?

Crookies
Crookies
1 year ago
Reply to  john

I’ll speak up in his defence that I dont think he’s an arrogant clown – he’s a radical ideologue activist.

And to make another distinction, it doesnt matter if he believes these policies will bring good results for society in the long run, or if hes a cynical hustler: the natural consequence of leashing LEOs will be the violent pathologies of empowered amoral criminals writ large.

You aren’t dealing with an honest player on a level playing field- and you dont realize the near term implications for what you hold dear: this is a disaster barring his immediate recall

WehoFan
WehoFan
1 year ago

Recall this disaster of a DA.

Crookies
Crookies
1 year ago

These activists are determined to impair law enforcement to the point of farce.

Make no mistake, the second and third order effects from this are dramatic increase in violent crime, and rapidly diminished quality of life – you’re all going to pay for it both financially via taxation, and the increased cost of services as robberies drive up their cost.

You are being played by skilled but ideological extremists who want to destroy you and your community

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