OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - The release of these records is because of SB 1421, a new law written by state Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) mandating that police release certain personnel files on officers, where sustained findings have shown them to have lied or been involved in sexual assault.
A "sustained finding" means that an Internal Affairs unit or an outside oversight body decides that there is sufficient evidence to clearly prove the allegation made in the complaint. The officer then gets some form of discipline and that record goes into their personnel files. In California, that file has been private until now. Other states have made these files public for years.
The records of officers involved in shootings and other uses of force where death or great bodily injury is a result also have to be disclosed, even if the shootings were have found to be justified.
It should be noted that a handful of police departments in the Bay Area - Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose, Palo Alto, Richmond, BART and Berkeley - have independent oversight commissions, meaning that non-police employees review complaints against the department. The other departments are monitored by their own Internal Affairs units.
KTVU's 2 Investigates sent Public Records Requests to the following police agencies in the Bay Area, seeking relevant data under the law back to Jan. 1, 2014.
Some police departments are releasing the files; others are putting up a fight not to make them public.
On March 31, the 1st District Court of Appeal rejected the police union retroactivity argument and said SB 1421 applies to records regardless of when they were created.
This list will be updated throughout the year.
Alameda County Sheriff: Initially, asked for an extension until Jan. 28. Then, wrote to say the sheriff's office expected to release "numerous records" in the next two weeks. The sheriff will also list a "reasonable estimate" related to redaction costs at that time. On April 13, the sheriff released a preliminary list of records, asking 2 Investigates to prioritize what records it wants, and then the office will assess relevant fees and redact records. The list, however, shows that dating back to 2003 there were 0 cases of sex assault, five cases of dishonesty, 19 cases of use of force and 32 cases of officer-involved shootings where 16 people ended up dying.
On May 18, Alameda County Sheriff releases its first batch of documents. Most were cases of use of force, which were found to have been justified, though deputies did get extra training in some of the cases.
An "uncooperative" woman who got a jay walking citation in 2016. Deputies Marco Torres and Yarborough took her to the ground when she walked away from them. She continued to resist and her right ulna was fractured. The use of force was within policy and the injury was "caused by the subject's own actions," the investigator found.
Deputies Melissa McNeil and Michael Ella forgot to turn on thei Vie Vu during a pursuit on Nov. 25, 2016 during a short chase. Superiors found this to be an isolated incident, but the deputies received training. The suspect was bit by a K-9 unit.
A woman was arrested for battery at John George employee after she made many threats to assault staff. She also kicked a deputy in the shin, and he used hair-pull and leg sweep takedown to subdue her. She suffered a laceration to the top of her head, and neded eight staples.
A woman with a violent history and who was a known met user wouldn't open trailer door to deputies on Dec. 4, 2017. She would not show her hands to deputies and she kicked police dog. The K-9 handler punched her toso and gave her two elbow strikes to her head. The police dog also bit the woman's arm. The K-9 sergreant was contacted to go over other options for this type of call.
On May 25, the sheriff released documents over the firing of Deputy Donald E. Couch II in 2014. Internal Affairs investigations found that he had taken pills from evidence scenes on at least two occasions in June that year and then lied about, despite having a colleague see him stick the pills in his pocket.
At the time, Couch was represented by attorney Steven Welty who argued while he might have violated department policy, he didn't take the pills himself. "Deputy Couch swears on the bible he takes his job very seriously and said he does·not use recreational drugs and he sure as hell would not take anything from someone off of the street and take them," his lawyer said in the report.
Welty then added that Couch told him: "These people are filthy, I don't want to touch them let alone take their stuff." Welty said that Couch simply has a different recollection of events and that he had been a good employee of 10 years with good evaluations. Still, superiors found that Couch's explanations were not credible and unacceptable, "considering the position of trust he was placed in as a peace officer/patrolman. His actions are not compatible with the expectations of the Alameda County Sheriffs Office," the reports state.
On June 29, the sheriff released records on the firing of Josh Shavies in 2015 for filing a false police report over furniture that he broke but pretended was stolen. The Bay Area News Group reported he was hired by the Contra Costa County Sheriff, where he currently works.
Anaheim: City is providing documents and video and charging fees to offset the cost of hiring two new records clerks, the city said. As an example, the city is charging Theresa Smith $3,000 to see the redacted video from 2009 when five officers killed her son.
Antioch: Seeking to block the retroactivity of SB 1421. Lawyers are arguing that the law "contains no legislative direction for a retroactive application" and these records are "confidential as a matter of law" prior to Jan. 1, 2019. A judge ruled on Feb. 8, the records must be made public. The unions are appealing. On April 22, Antioch police released documents on 11 times force was used since 2011, and a case where they fired Sgt. Santiago Castillo in 2017 for leaking sensitive information to drug dealers and submitting time sheets for hours he didn't work and stealing evidence. Before Santiago left, he resigned before his arbitration hearing.
Arcata: Released documents.
Atwater: Seeking to block the release of records based on retroactivity.
Avenal: Released documents.
Baldwin Park: Holding off on releasing police files because of the Attorney General's statement on wanting to protect police privacy.
Barstow: Holding off on releasing police files because of the Attorney General's statement on wanting to protect police privacy.
BART: KTVU asked for records on Jan. 21. BART responded that it needs until Feb. 15. In the meantime, BART sent over 10 complaints to the independent police auditor about the Jan. 2, 2018 death of Shaleem Tindle, killed by BART Officer Joseph Mateu. On Feb. 15, BART released a chart showing that since 2014, they have five cases where an officer discharged a firearm, two use of force cases resulting in death or great bodily injury and one case where there was a sustained case of dishonesty. On March 7, BART released documents showing that the IA unit found that an officer lied on Jan. 21, 2014 following the shooting of Sgt. Thomas Smith. The officer's police report didn't match that of her body camera video. She said a fellow officer didn't discuss the probation search, when the video shows he did.
Also, a BART police officer who was captured on video in 2014 slamming a drunken woman face-first into a floor at Alameda County's Santa Rita Jail was later reprimanded for submitting a misleading report about the violent incident.
* The role BART Officer Anthony Pirone played in escalating events and his downplaying of his behavior to superiors.
* Officer Johannes Mehserle, who pulled the trigger, had an unusually high number of excessive use-of-force complaints before the deadly clash with Grant, an unarmed 22-year-old father from Hayward.
On Aug, 12, BART released documents into the non-fatal shooting of Charles Goetting on Christmas morning of 2015. Goetting was later charged with attempted murder of a peace officer when he shot at two officers at the Hayward station.
Berkeley: Berkeley City Council told staff on Jan. 31, that that SB 1421 should apply "to existing records pre-dating Jan. 1 2019. This is in response to a city attorney's prior interpretation that the police department does not have to go back retroactively to release personnel records. Still, Berkeley said it looked back in "good faith" but had no sustained findings in five years. On Jan. 30, Berkeleyside and the ACLU sued the city of Berkeley because the city attorney contends the new law does not require disclosure of records created before Jan. 1.
Beaumont: Holding off on releasing police files because of the Attorney General's statement on wanting to protect police privacy.
Buena Park: Seeking to block the release of records based on retroactivity.
Burlingame: Police Chief Mike Matteucci told KTVU in an email on Jan. 18 that the city would be charging $3,258.40 for city employees to redact the relevant audio and video relevant to the firing of an officer who was found to have engaged in appropriate sexual relationships on the job. The Bay Area News Group first reported that the department fired Officer David W. Granucci after they found he offered to help a woman charged with DUI if she would have sex with him. The San Mateo County District Attorney is now considering opening a criminal case against the former officer.
California Department of Consumer Affairs: Steven C. Richter stole thousands of bullets as veteran investigator for the California Department of Consumer Affairs and a deputy for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, reported BANG and KQED. He was never charged and resigned in disgrace.
California Highway Patrol: Initially asked for additional time until Jan. 28. Then asked for an extension until May 3. There will be associated costs.
On June 10, the CHP said it had 1,261 pages of a report available for a Feb. 27, 2011 discharge of a weapon by Officer Andrew Howell in the Victorville area. The agency is charging .30 cents per page or $5 for CDs. Video recordings are $50 per DC. The total would be $483.
Carlsbad: Released documents.
Chico: Seeking to block the release of records based on retroactivity.
Chula Vista: Police release review of fatal officer-involved shooting in 2017, according to the LA Times.
Clayton: Released documents.
Corcoran: Released documents.
Colusa: Released documents.
Colusa County Sheriff: Seeking to block the release of records based on retroactivity.
Concord: Initially asked for additional time until Jan. 25 and then sought to block the retroactivity of the law. A judge granted a temporary restraining order on the release of the documents. Lawyers are arguing that the law "contains no legislative direction for a retroactive application" and these records are "confidential as a matter of law" prior to Jan. 1, 2019. A judge ruled on Feb. 8, the records must be made public. The unions are appealing. On March 20, the city revealed the names of officers involved in four shootings.
Contra Costa County Sheriff: Initially asked for additional time until Jan. 25 and then sought to block the retroactivity of the law. Lawyers are arguing that the law "contains no legislative direction for a retroactive application" and these records are "confidential as a matter of law" prior to Jan. 1, 2019. "Given that we have no responsive documents to release, we are closing your Public Records Act request at this time. In the event the Restraining Order is modified or dissolved, you may resubmit your request as may be appropriate at that time," Sheriff's specialist Carlyle Slover wrote in an email. A judge ruled on Feb. 8, the records must be made public.
On April 4, Contra Costa County Sheriff David Livingston wrote this organization and others saying it would be an "undue burden" to release records without a narrow request. But then his office began releasing records of officer-involved shootings including the death of Dewayne Ward Jr. in 2015 and the 2016 death of Michael Lee Mallett. They also released a report on the 2015 nonfatal shooting of Timothy Stout.
Cypress: Holding off on releasing police files because of the Attorney General's statement on wanting to protect police privacy.
Daly City: In a rare instance where a police officer was disciplined for violating shooting policies, a veteran Daly City cop was reprimanded for improper use of deadly force for shooting a violent felon during a 2016 arrest, records released on July 1 to Bay Area News Group show. Officer Peter Nelson shot and wounded Shikeb Saddozia, a convicted rapist who was four days out of state prison. About a year later, Nelson was reprimanded for violating the department's deadly force policy.
Davis: Released documents.
Department of Justice: Attorney General Xavier Becerra first told reporter Darwin BondGraham that he would not release any files until he heard what the courts had to say on retroactivity. A Contra Costa County judge ruled on Feb. 9 that the files must be made public, but the unions are likely to appeal. Judge orders Becerra to release files, and he agrees on May 17.
On May 23, the Appeal reported that A California Department of Justice narcotics task force commander, Danielle Ayers, commander for the Santa Clara county Specialized Enforcement Team, was fired for misconduct that included property thefts in recent years by her team members during warrant searches.
Dinuba: Released documents.
Downey: The Downey Police Officer's Association petitioned a court to demand the city destroy records older than five years. At the request of the union, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lori Ann Fournier issued a temporary restraining order March 7, to block the release of records until the matter can be more fully considered by the court, reported LAist.
El Cajon: Seeking to block the release of records based on retroactivity.
Emeryville: Officer Joshua Patterson resigned in 2014 after an internal probe found he left his jurisdiction on multiple occasions to hang out in well-known prostitute areas, lied about his whereabouts and didn't document why he used force when handcuffing citizens, among other sustained findings against him, according to public documents. Emeryville police also released the names of the officers stemming from two-high profile shootings on Feb. 3, 2015 at Home Depot where two were injured and the Sept. 27, 2017 fatal shooting along Interstate Highway 80 of a San Leandro man who was wanted for the 2015 death of another man in Fairfield.
Exeter: Released documents.
Fairfield: Three Fairfield police officers engaged in sexual misconduct with members of the public. Four others had sustained findings of dishonesty — they withheld evidence, committed forgery or falsified reports. And several other officers used a level of force that broke bones, required surgeries and killed two people, reported the San Francisco Chronicle.
Farmersville: Released documents.
Foster City: Released documents.
Fremont: Fremont has zero sustained findings in terms of sexual misconduct and dishonesty dating back five years. There have been 10 officer-involved shootings in that time period. Senior Deputy City Attorney Bronwen Lacey said that the city is not releasing the names of the officers in four of those cases because they are being litigated. She said under the law, the city doesn't have to because that could taint the jury. The East Bay Express first reported on Jan. 11 that one of those cases is the 2017 police shooting of Elena "Ebbie" Mondragon, which is being litigated in federal civil court. For the other cases, Lacey said the city of Fremont would be charging $171.40 plus extra for mailing to redact 1,174 pages of redacted police reports. KQED reported on March 19, that Fremont destroyed decades of police misconduct records before SB 1421 took place.
On May 8, Fremont police released documents and videos related to six officer-involved shootings on a new "transparency portal." But as KQED pointed out, they are only investigative summaries and highly edited videos, which fall short of SB 1421 requirements.
Galt: Released documents.
Gilroy: Said it is determining what records are responsive to this request and will provide a written response by Feb. 7. The city then said it needs until at least March 4 to comply and that they are "diligently searching for redaction software." In addition, Gilroy said it hadn't received any complaints or lawsuits from the public over the last five years, but did conduct three Internal Affairs investigations related the new law during that period. Then, on March 6, the city said they are not releasing any police records until the idea of"retroactivity" is settled in the courts.
Glendora: Seeking to block the release of records based on retroactivity.
Grover Beach: Released documents.
Hayward: Has not released any documents.
Healdsburg: Released documents.
Huntington Park: Seeking to block the release of records based on retroactivity.
Inglewood: The city on Dec. 22 authorized the shredding of police shooting records, according to the LA Times.
Kensington: Police accessed highly confidential law enforcement data to search for records on an elected official seen as hostile to their interests, according to KQED and BANG.
Kings County Sheriff: Holding off on releasing police files because of the Attorney General's statement on wanting to protect police privacy.
Laguna Beach: Released documents.
Lassen County Sheriff: Released documents.
Lincoln: Released documents.
Lindsay: Holding off on releasing police files because of the Attorney General's statement on wanting to protect police privacy.
Long Beach: Holding off on releasing police files because of the Attorney General's statement on wanting to protect police privacy.
Los Angeles police: Seeking to block the release of records based on retroactivity. A judge on Feb. 20 said the records must be released.
Los Angeles Port: Seeking to block the release of records based on retroactivity. A judge on Feb. 20 said the records must be released.
Los Banos: Released documents.
Marin County Sheriff: Public records request sent Feb. 11. On March 7, the sheriff said they needed about three months to produce records, which would be on June 7. On June 7, the county released five out of seven records.
Deputy Garrett discharged weapon at a Wells Fargo robbery in 2002 at a suspect who had stolen $120,000 and was thought to have left behind a bomb. The suspect would not drop a cylindrical container and Garrett's bullet hit the bathroom wall and did not strike him. Garrett's actions were deemed justified and within policy.
Internal Affairs found that Deputy Robert Nealon violated policies while using his firearm in 2005 during a chase of a suspected stolen vehicle. Nealon did not respond to colleagues over the broadcast system, but chased the car on his own. He never notified central command that this was the possible car in question as per policy. He fired two rounds at the car. No other units knew his location or who fired the shots. IA found her "failed to exercise sound officer safety techniques." IA said that he had a "cavalier attitude," which superiors found "troubling." He receieved a letter of reprimand.
Deputy Erik Rohrs agreed to resign after he was caught filling his private vehicle twice with a gas can taken out of his patrol vehicle in 2012. Rohrs told supereriors that he filled up a five-gallon gas can "a couple of times. I'm willing to admit that. I used to for work." He said he was taught to carry a gas can with him and he used it to fill citizen's cars. "I never filled up my personal car with gas, hever," he told a superior. Another deputy said that he never told Rohrs it was OK to carry extra gas in the patrol car because of the obvious flammable dangers. IA put him on administrative leave during an investigation, which sustained the allegations about him. Rohrs entered an agreement with the county to resign, with the assurance that the county wouldn't conduct a criminal investigation.
Marin County sheriff's Deputy Evan Kubota fired 16 bullets and seriously wounded Chaka Grayson in a situation involving a traffic violation in 2013 in Marin City. Kubota was fired after IA found that he violated six of nine policies, but he was later reinstated as an office worker in the Marin County Sheriff‘s Office, the Marin Independent Journal reported.
On June 19, the sheriff released documents showing:
Marin County Sheriff's Sgt. Ron Scranton, and deputies Craig Hunter and Jonathan Harrison did nothing wrong when Silivenusi Pacelli Namato Ravono, a psych patient who they cuffed, died on Aug. 18, 2018.
A discharge of firearms case where the person didn't die on Feb. 11, 2013.
A shooting of a bank robbery suspect on Dec. 14, 2013.
Martinez: Seeking to block the retroactivity of SB 1421. Lawyers are arguing that the law "contains no legislative direction for a retroactive application" and these records are "confidential as a matter of law" prior to Jan. 1, 2019. A judge ruled on Feb. 8, the records must be made public. The unions are appealing. However, on March 19, Martinez decided to reverse course and post all relevant records into one website.
Mendota: Released documents.
Mill Valley: Released documents.
Morro Bay: Released documents.
Montclair: Released documents.
Montebello: Seeking to block the release of records based on retroactivity.
Mountain View: Police said they had "no sustained investigations" of its police officers after reviewing personnel records dealing with sexual assault, dishonesty and use of force over the last five years.
Murietta: Seeking to block the release of records based on retroactivity.
Napa County Sheriff: Request submitted on Feb. 18, 2019. Sheriff responded saying they have to review a "voluminous amount of records in order to appropriately respond." On March 22, the county said there are no cases of inappropriate sexual behavior or dishonesty on the job. On April 19, sheriff said they are still working on locating cases.
On May 24, Napa County released several documents, including those related to Albert Wong after he killed three people at the Yountville Veterans home in March 2018.
In all, the documents included eight law enforcement officer reports, seven IA reports and four coroner's reports.
Oakland: Responded on Jan. 11 that "any responsive documents on a rolling basis, subject to applicable exemptions." On Feb. 5, Oakland said that there might be a release of information on Feb. 25. Oakland has now asked for more time until March 12. On March 6, Oakland police released documents and findings related to the March 12, 2018 death of Joshua Pawlik.
On April 25, Oakland police said more documents might be released on May 31.
On April 30, Oakland police begin to release more records under SB 1421. One of the cases involved Officer Bruce Christienson, who received a sustained finding for failing to recuse himself as an evidence technician in 2017 after he was involved in a fatal shooting in the 9500 block of Las Vegas Street. He was written up and his supervisor felt this was an isolated incident.
Overall, though, the Executive Force Review Board found that shooting of the suspect, Jesse Enjaian, was reasonable as he had been shooting at vehicles and fired off his scoped rifle at officers.
Another report was on Officer Hector Jiminez, who was reinstated after being fired for killing an unarmed man, Mack "Jody" Woodfox III, who was running away from him in 2008. And police also released findings on the fatal 2007 officer-involved shooting of Andrew Moppin.
On May 22, police released some video and pictures of the shooting of Demouria Hogg on June 6, 2015. After officers tried unsuccessfully to wake Hogg for more than an hour, where he was sleeping with a gun on the passenger seat, they approached the driver's side window and broke it. Almost as soon as the window was broken, Officer Nicole Rhodes, who was providing lethal cover, fired two rounds. Officer Daniel Cornejo-Valdivia simultaneously hit Hogg with a Taser. After the shooting, Rhodes told investigators that she saw Hogg lean back and reach with his left hand toward the passenger seat, where there was a gun.
(In all, so far, Oakland police have released documents into the investigations of:
Mack Woodfox killed by police on on July 25 2008.
Demouria Hogg killed by police on on June 6, 2015.
Jesse Enjaian killed by police on Feb 17, 2017.
Joshua Pawlik killed by policeon March 11, 2018.
Celeste Guap Sexual misconduct investigation of 2016.)
Orange County Sheriff: Seeking to block the release of records based on retroactivity. A judge on Feb. 28 ruled that the sheriff must publicly disclose the records.
Orland: Released documents.
Palo Alto: Palo Alto police found no sustained findings of sexual assault or dishonesty for the last five years under SB 1421. In a Feb. 11 letter to KTVU, the department said they are not releasing any use-of-force cases retroactive to Jan. 1 because of the Attorney General's stance on peace officers having historic rights to privacy in their personnel records. They said they are waiting for court cases in Los Angeles County and Contra Costa County to resolve before releasing any information. On April 10, police released records that found officers acted reasonably when they punched a man causing him to yell out "I can't breathe" when they thought he was stealing from Macy's. But they dinged the undercover officers for failing to turn on their recording devices before the takedown.
Paso Robles: Released documents.
Piedmont: Has no sustained findings in any of the categories.
Pittsburg: Released documents.
Placer County: Holding off on releasing police files because of the Attorney General's statement on wanting to protect police privacy.
Plumas County Sherif: Released documents.
Porterville: Released documents.
Red Bluff: Seeking to block the release of records based on retroactivity.
Richmond: Seeking to block the retroactivity of SB 1421. A judge granted a temporary restraining order against the release of the documents. Lawyers are arguing that the law "contains no legislative direction for a retroactive application" and these records are "confidential as a matter of law" prior to Jan. 1, 2019. A judge ruled on Feb. 8, the records must be made public. The unions are appealing. However, on March 19, Richmond decided to release records starting on March 20 at 5 p.m. on a rolling basis. Records show that officers had sex on the job and were untruthful. The city also released the names of eight officers involved in shootings.
Riverside: Seeking to block the release of records.
Rio Dell: Released documents.
Rio Vista: Two police officers fired over bad arrests, use of force, falsifying reports, reported KQED and Bay Area News Group. The department released two discs of video and Internal Affairs investigations at no charge.
Ripon: Released documents.
Roseville: Released documents.
Sacramento County Sheriff: The Sacramento Bee and the LA Times sue the Sacramento County Sheriff for not disclosing records under the new law, SB 1421. Seeking to block the release of records based on retroactivity.
Saint Helena: Released documents.
Salinas: Released documents.
Sand City: Released documents.
San Diego: A superior Court judge on Feb. 5 temporarily halted any further release of police personnel files from eight county police agencies, granting a request from labor unions to stop the release of records from years past. The stay issued will remain in effect until a full hearing on the issue set for March 1. Last week, labor associations representing police in Carlsbad, Coronado, El Cajon, National City, Oceanside and San Diego, as well as San Diego Harbor police and San Diego Unified School District police filed a lawsuit contending that the records from before Jan. 1 can't be disclosed. On March 1, a San Diego County judge ruled that the records must be made public now.
San Diego Sheriff: Originally said it would charge KPBS $350,000 and the Voice of San Diego $250,000 for records, until San Diego Union Tribune editorial writer Matthew Hall said he convinced the sheriff to waive fees or face a shameful editorial.
San Leandro: On Feb. 8, the city said they had no sustained findings of sex assault or lying under SB 1421 in the last five years. The city also initiated five Internal Affairs investigations, all related to the discharge of a weapon or where the use of force resulted in death or great bodily injury. The city said it will make those documents available within 45 days. On May 9, police asked for 45 more days until June 20.
On June 11, police released edited video and police reports into the June 11, 2019 shooting death of 56-year-old Anthony Gomez in the 900 block of Martin Avenue. Police said he was wielding a machete and had exposed himself to children. Officer Michelle Woods fired the fatal shot. The coroner said the bullet went through Gomez's neck, lodging in his right shoulder.
On Aug. 13, police released documents about a 2014 shooting when Neil Goodman fired shots at an unknown suspect who fled in a pursuit.
On Aug. 27, police released 524 pages of information related to an officer-involved shooting on Dec. 4, 2014 in the 600 block of Broadmoore. The officer fired in self-defense, police said, after a 16-year-old girl from Oakland accelerated her stolen Nissan Maxima into the officer. She was with a 19-year-old Dwon Ramsey. One officer's legs suffered injury. The girl surrendered and suffered a minor hand injury. The officers involved were Tom Rosenlind and Kenny Shedd. Superiors found that Roselind acted appropriately, within policy and no additional training was recommended. But superiors said Shedd created a safety issue by firing eight rounds at a moving car. Shedd's use of force was justified, but superiors said he needed to be aware of his backdrop when firing a gun.
San Luis Obispo: Released records.
San Francisco: On Jan. 31 wrote to cite a backlog of requests in making police personnel files public under SB 1421 and invoked a "rare request" to take longer to fill "burdensome and time-consuming" task of releasing information. Still, they promised to complete the request and give an update on Feb. 15. Police then asked for an extension until March 15. On March 3, the San Francisco Examiner reported the police union sued to block the retroactive release of the records. City Attorney spokesman John Cote responded: "Law enforcement officers have a dangerous job, and their work is crucial to society. They keep our friends, our neighbors and our families safe. The vast majority of these men and women in uniform do extraordinary work and deserve our gratitude. But because their job is so important, it carries extra responsibility. We give law enforcement officers a tremendous amount of authority. With that authority comes a duty to the public. Our communities have a clear interest in reviewing records related to sustained findings of misconduct when they involve things like filing false reports or sexual assault on a member of the public. The public also deserves transparency in situations where an officer shoots at a person. That was the legislature's intent in approving SB 1421. The bill's author has stated clearly that this law was intended to open up all responsive records – from the past and future alike. There's nothing in this law that limits it only to future records. We are going to proudly defend the public's right to transparency in their government."
On March 29, a judge ruled that the records must be made public and the union withdrew its lawsuit.
On April 12, San Francisco police released more than 1,000 pages about the July 2010 shooting outside a strip club in North Beach where an officer fired a single shot.
On April 25, police asked for another extension until May 10.
On May 17, police released findings in the fatal shooting of Alejandro "Alex" Nieto in 2014. Internal Affairs found that Lt. Jason Sawyer, Officer Richard Schiff, Officer Roger Morse and Officer Nathan Chew were ustified when they killed him in Bernal Heights after a bystander called 911. They said he was pointing a weapon at them. It turns out, he was carrying a Taser he used as a security guard. The officers were cleared in a jury trial in 2016, and an IA investigation also cleared them, as did the District Attorney.
On May 31, police released internal reports into the Dec. 16, 2011 officer-invovled shooting of Larry Simonton. Superiors found that Officer Gabriel Alcaraz acted reasonably when he shot at Simonton, who was a carjacking suspect and sitting in a stolen Honda when he allegedly rammed into a patrol car. Simonton received minor injuries from a car chase, but was not hit by any bullets. The report does not Simonton by name, but the shooting and officer's name matchesthe date on the District Attorney's page.
On June 5, police released documents showing that officers Charles August, Winson Seto, Antonio Santos, Nicholas Cuevas and Scott Phillips followed protocol when they fatally shot Mario Woods, 26, on Dec. 2, 2015. According to the report, it took exactly 72 seconds from when officers encountered Woods in the Bayview district of San Francisco to when they opened fire, striking him 21 times. Several less than lethal methods were attempted before the shooting, the officers reported in the investigation. The methods included the deployment of rubber bullets, pepper spray and bean bag rounds. "Woods continued to brandish his knife did not surrender," the report detailed.
On June 12, SFPD released a 43-page report re: discharge of firearms on Oct. 6, 1998, by officers Ian Furminger and Jason Sawyer. No violations of policy were found, but recommendation to review training practices to see if changes should be made. Furminger was later convicted of stealing money from drug dealers during arrests and implicated in the exchange of racist text messages. Sawyer, by then a lieutenant, was one of four officers who shot Alex Nieto in 2014. (Report was conducted in 2001).
On June 19, police released documents showing Officer William Heppler fired his pistol "lawfully" and within policy when he fatally shot a stabbing suspect on Oct. 3, 2011. The suspect was holding knives, had attacked two victims on Funston Avenue in the Richmond District and "charged the assembled officers." The report doesn't list the names of the suspect or victim. But news reports from that date and address show that the suspect was Peter Woo, 44, who had stabbed his mother, Nina Woo, 73, to death and had attacked his father, Dennis Woo, 78, by stabbing him in the hand.
On July 29, San Francisco police released documents showing that IA found that Officer Thomas Minkel fired lawfully when he killed Stephen Michael Young on Dec. 14, 2011. Minkel had stopped the Chevrolet truck because it hadn't been registered since 2009. Young jumped out of the car and ran away. Young pointed his right arm in the air and the officer heard a series of pops. Finkel feared for his life and fireed twice. He found a Beretta in Young's right hand. Young had fired six shots on Larkin Street. Young eventually died from gunshot wounds. Police and the DA found that "It is our conclusion that Officer Minkel acted lawfully."
On Aug. 14, police released the documents pertaining to when Officer Gabriel Alcaraz shot Larry Simonton on Dec. 16, 2011. Simonton was not killed and arrested on suspicion of two counts of assault on a peace officer, attempted robbery and theft. The DA found the shooting to be justified.
San Francisco District Attorney: In February, the DA provided some documents to KQED regarding an investigator who was disciplined for issuing a subpoena under "false pretenses."
San Mateo County Sheriff: The agency had five investigations that are potentially applicable to the new law within the five-year period, but Chief Deputy County Counsel David A. Silberman said on Friday that his office needed about a month more to compile the records. There will be no associated fees. However, Silberman then amended his answer as he watches what the Attorney General is planning to do about the released of documents.
On April 16, San Mateo County mailed 2 Investigates records that show two deputies were disciplined for participating in "shadow boxing" mentally ill inmates.
Correctional officer Dana Smith was fired in April 2017 after her superiors found her dishonest and her performance unacceptable. She was also have found to have used force that was unreasonable in 2016.
The San Mateo County Sheriff's Internal Affairs division found that Smith had punched an inmate in the arm and laughed about it, which was caught on CCTV video. Investigators found that Smith lied about why she was in the inmate's cell and that she called the physical contact with the inmate "horseplay."
Her colleague, Denny Rivera, was suspended without pay for 96 hours after superiors found that he watched Smith yelling and punching inmates and did nothing to stop her, police transparency records released under SB 1421 showed. IA investigators also found that Rivera did not report her actions and was dishonest in answering questions.
Separately, in 2014, San Mateo County Sheriff Deputy Galen Underwood was fired after detectives in Santa Clara County arrested him on numerous sexual abuse charges involving a child in 2013. He was hired long before the arrests.
In additional, two deputies were exonerated from an excessive force complaint in 2018.
San Rafael: Released documents.
San Ramon: No sustained findings or use of force reports in the last five years.
Santa Barbara: Released records.
Santa Ana: On Feb. 10, all records that are disclosed under SB1421 were requested by freelance journalist Ben Camacho. Santa Ana Police Department acknowledged the request, and sent a reply stating they anticipate the redaction of private information from those records will take 90 days. Meanwhile, the Voice of OC found a November 2018 document that reveals an effort by the police department to destroy some of the records that would otherwise be releasable. The police department described these records as "obsolete." It was signed on Dec. 18, 2018, days before the new law, SB 1421, took place. However, the city has since removed that item from the January agenda.
Santa Clara: Filed a public records request on Jan. 7. On March 4, police said they have no records related to dishonesty or sexual assault. The police department was involved in deadly officer-involved shootings in March of 2017 and Jan. 5. Police also shot and injured a suspect in October 2017. On Sept. 24, police released reports in four officer-involved shootings.
On Oct. 9, Santa Clara released documents showing that police found Officer Joshua Craig was justified and feared for his safety when he shot and killed Jose Ramirez on Jan. 14 2012. Ramirez had a loaded .38-caliber in his car. He failed to comply with the officer's commands.
Santa Clara County Sheriff: The Sheriff's Office told KTVU it is compiling and redacting these records and preparing them for release a rolling basis going forward. On March 28, the sheriff released documents showing that two corrections officers, Michelle Broussard and Deputy Alana Simpson-Hogan, were fired in 2016 and 2017 after internal affairs investigators found that one used unnecessary force when she choked and stepped on an inmate and both attempted to cover it up. In a statement, Sheriff Laurie Smith said: "Maintaining the public's trust is the corner stone of community policing. Lying sullies the honorable work of this Office and tarnishes the reputation of our profession as a whole. Individuals who violate that trust are held accountable for their actions. These incidents are not a true reflection of the honest men and women who represent this agency."
On Sept. 28, records were released showing that a fourth Santa Clara County jail deputy was fired in the 2015 beating of Michael Tyree, for not disclosing the assault and lying about not hearing it happen, the Mercury News reported.
San Jose: The city asked for additional time until Feb. 25. while at the same time said officials were watching litigation to see if these documents have to be released. Police did release names of officers involved in officer-involved shootings dating back to 2009. On Feb. 25, San Jose said they would not release any documents before Jan. 1 until the courts decide the retroactivity issue. Police also would not release an officer-involved shooting in February 2019, citing it was being investigated. An update will be given on March 25. On April 19, San Jose police said due to the "large volume" of records, it might take months to complete the request. Updates will be given every 30 days.
On June 7, San Jose police said because of the "sheer volume" of requests spanning two decades, they will still need more time to release records on a rolling basis.
On June 24, San Jose police released a list of 73 cases of officer-involved shootings and great bodily injury incidents they plan to release. (17 were fatal). The list shows no sustained findings of sex assault or dishonesty.
In August and September, San Jose police released documents and photos pertaining to the fatal shooting of Jennifer Vasquez, who they mistakenly identified on Christmas 2018, as the suspect in a shooting. At the end of the high-speed chase, Vasquez crashed her car into a fence and, in trying to extricate it, rammed it into a police car. The passenger in the car, Linda Carmona-Bruno, 28, was shot once. She was treated and released from a hospital. Prosecutors determined officers were also within their rights when they shot and injured her. The Santa Clara County district attorney's office announced in April that the four officers would not face criminal charges. They are: Marco Mercado, Eliseo Anaya, Mitchell Stimson and Mark Koska.
San Jose State: On March 8, SJSU released more than 400 pages of documents and an 18-minute video related to the Feb. 21, 2014, shooting of 38-year-old Antonio Guzman Lopez, first reported by the Mercury News.
San Jose State police officer Jonathan Silva who was eventually fired by the university for repeatedly punching and threatening to use a Taser on a man viewing porn in the library, now works for the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Department — for the same police chief who, when he was running the university's police department, initially cleared him of wrongdoing, according to newly-released video and documents, reported by the Mercury News on July 2.
Silva resigned from the Los Gatos police department, the Mercury News reported on July 22.
Santa Monica: Seeking to block the release of records based on retroactivity.
Santa Rosa: On May 7, Santa Rosa released edited and narrated video stemming from an officer-involved fatal shooting of a suicidal teenager on May 23, 2016 in Coffey Park. Police say the 15-year-old student was holding a pellet pistol, which he refused to drop. Police say he also told officers he wanted to shoot and kill them. The officers involved were Brian Fix, J. Ludikhuize and Luis Pena. In the explainer video, a captain says Fix followed the law and acted in accordance with department policies. The officer had been on the job for just over a year at the time of the shooting. He remains on the force in Santa Rosa.
Seaside: Released documents.
Signal Hill: Seeking to block the release of records based on retroactivity.
South San Francisco: Released documents.
Sunnyvale: Released documents.
Tehachapi: Released documents.
Tulare: Seeking to block the release of records based on retroactivity.
Vallejo: Police released the names of officers involved in seven use-of-force cases where a weapon was discharged. The full reports have not yet been released. The officers and the dates of the cases are:
• Jan. 23, 2017 - Officer Zach Jacobsen who fatally shot 21-year-old Angel Ramos. At the time, police said Ramos was allegedly holding a knife and attacking a 16-year-old.
• May 31, 2017 - Officer Kevin Barreto; Officer Jared Jaksch; Officer Sean Kenney; Officer Jarrett Tonn.
• Aug. 2, 2017 - Officer Jake Estrada; Officer Zach Jacobsen; Officer Matt Komoda; Officer Stephanie McDonough; Officer David McLaughlin.
• July 8, 2017 - Officer Jarrett Tonn.
• Feb. 13, 2018 - Officer Ryan McMahon.
• Nov. 1, 2018 - Sergeant George Simpson; Officer James Duncan; Officer Matt Komoda.
• Jan. 1, 2019 - Officer Christopher Hendrix.
On Feb. 12, Vallejo also released information about Officer David McLaughlin, who is being investigated by his superiors for two cases where he discharged a gun: On Aug. 31, 2016 and Aug. 2, 2017. He was put on administrative leave after KTVU exposed his possible use of excessive force.
On Feb. 20, Vallejo police released the names of the officers who shot and killed Willie McCoy on Feb. 9. Those officers are: Officers Ryan McMahon, Collin Eaton, Bryan Blick, Jordon Patzer, Anthony Romero-Cano and Mark Thompson. McMahon had shot and killed an unarmed black man on Feb. 13, 2018. The city said more information would be released on April 9.
On March 8, Vallejo police released documents on the officer-involved Aug. 2, 2017 shooting death of Jeffrey Barboa; the Jan. 23, 2017 shooting death of Angel Ramos; and the July 8, 2017 shooting death of Victor Hurtado.
Vallejo police also released documents related to sustained findings of sexual assault against Officer Chase Calhoun in August 2013, who was terminated. A woman reported that the officer had sex with her while in his uniform, on-duty and most times while in a police vehicle. They had sex in remote locations, she said. Calhoun acknowledged the relationship to Internal Affairs.
On May 6, police released reports and video related to the fatal shooting of Ronell Foster.
On June 27, Vallejo police released 10 more cases. They include:
A K-9 named "Clyde" bit Lynn Develle Wilson after police reported he had been speeding at 110 mph on Sonoma Boulevard and Curtola Parkway on July 5, 2018. Wilson fled on foot and hid in a storage yard. Because he was an "unsearched fleeing felon and was concealing himself in a manner that would jeopardize officer safety if a K-9 wasn't utilized," Officer Mark Thompson said Clyde bite Wilson's right leg. Wilson went to the hospital and he had a no bail warrant out of Richmond. There was no mention of any discipline or not recommended.
Officer Ryan McLaughlin used a Taser and his team had a K-9 dog bite a suspect whom they thought stole a motorcycle, even though it turned out he didn't. McLaughlin is a twin of David McLaughlin, who who drew his weapon on a Marine in February and who was seen off-duty pulling a gun on a father going to a birthday party in Walnut Creek.
On May 11, 2017, a potential suspect, identified as James Garrett, was seen riding a motorcycle through the Tower Mart convenience store. He "appeared concerned by our appearance" and officers thought it was "odd." McLaughlin decided to follow him. He and his partner, Officer Matt Komoda, spotted a screwdriver in his ignition, which indicated the bike was possibly stolen. Garrett then sped off and popped a wheelie. Groups of bystanders cheered him on. Garrett led them on a chase for 11 miles. He then abandoned the motorcycle and officers saw him trying to hop a chain link fence on Redwood Street. The officers said that Garrett began running toward them and had a "baggie" (sic) shirt, which they thought could have been hiding a gun. Officer Brown sent her K-9, "Loki," toward Garrett and the dog grabbed his left arm. Garrett was using a jiu-jitsu moved to control the dog. McLaughlin pressed his right knee against Garrett's side and then used a Taser on Garrett, because he thought Garrett might hurt or kill Loki. Turns out the motorcycle hadn't been stolen, but Garrett told police he fled because he had warrants out for burglary and a misdemeanor drug charge. Garrett went to Kaiser for treatment. There was no mention of any discipline or not recommended.
A total of 163 pages were released related to the non-fatal officer-involved shooting of Adam Clayton Powell of Suisun City, who wore body armor and carried an assault rifle, whom police said tried to "ambush and shoot" Cpl. Joshua Coleman and Officer Mark Galios inside a Starbucks on Lincoln Road on Oct. 16, 2016. Powell pointed a rifle at the officers having their coffee. Earlier that day, Powell's son had accidentally shot himself after he found a gun in his dad's jacket while Powell was in the bathroom, the boy's mother told police. Powell's father-in-law told Powell to apply pressure to the boy's neck, but he left, saying "he cannot handle it." The boy survived. Powell said he was looking for a place to commit suicide. But he told police he didn't remember going into the Starbucks wearing a bullet proof vest and carrying a 9 mm Beretta. Officers chased Powell and shot at him, bullets hit his left cheek, neck and his right buttocks. Powell was not killed. The Vallejo police critical incident review board found that the officers acted within policy and no training changes need to be changed. In March 2018, a jury found Powell not guilty of trying to kill those officers.
Officers Matt Komoda and David MClaughlin fired their guns at Troy Dionte Collins and Marcus Anigilaje on Aug. 31, 2016, after their Audi was traveling at about 50 mph in a 25 mph zone. The Audi then seemed to reverse in their direction and accelerate toward them. McLaughlin said they feared for their lives and then opened fire, causing the SUV to crash. Neither Collins nor Anigilaje were injured from the gunfire and both were arrested. A review board of superiors found the officers' actions and de-escalation techniques to be "commendable." None of the bullets fired penetrated into the inside of the car. A concern was noted whether police had underperforming ammunition with poor ballistic qualities. The review board did note that the officers could have been more timely updates, however.
Ventura County Sheriff: Seeking to block the release of records based on retroactivity.
Ventura: Seeking to block the release of records based on retroactivity.
Visalia: Holding off on releasing police files because of the Attorney General's statement on wanting to protect police privacy.
Walnut Creek: Seeking to block the retroactivity of SB 1421. Lawyers are arguing that the law "contains no legislative direction for a retroactive application" and these records are "confidential as a matter of law" prior to Jan. 1, 2019. A judge ruled on Feb. 8, the records must be made public. The unions are appealing. On March 20, the chief of police said his department will now be releasing the records on a rolling basis starting April 5 to July. One record released shows there was a sustained finding about Officer Curtis Borman who carelessly handled evidence and falsified police reports in 2016. He was suspended and is now still a patrol officer. On April 5, police released more documents, showing that same officer falsified 31 police reports. All SB 1421 materials will be posted here.
Watsonville: The Bay Area News Group reported that two veteran officers were fired for repeatedly having sex with civilians on duty. Officer John Espinosa was fired in July of 2017 and retired from the department as a mandatory appeal played out. Officer Jose D. Barrera was fired in April 2014 and resigned during his appeal.
Westmoreland: Seeking to block the release of records based on retroactivity.
Woodland: Released documents.
Woodlake: Seeking to block the release of records based on retroactivity.
Source: KTVU reporting, ACLU of Northern California and Southern California
Last updated on Oct. 9, 2019.