Attorney Seeks Probe Of Napa Police Shooting

NAPA (AP) — The attorney for the family of a man fatally shot by Napa police are calling for an independent investigation into his death.

San Francisco attorney John Runfola said Friday that he and the family would like access to police evidence in the Sunday slaying of 60-year-old Richard Poccia outside his Napa home.

“Once again we have the police investigating the police and coming to the conclusion the police did nothing wrong,” Runfola said.

Napa County sheriff’s deputies were not involved in the shooting, but the sheriff’s office was asked to investigate. That investigation found Poccia pulled a knife on Napa police officers after coming out of his home with his hands in the air.

He died at the scene of a single gunshot wound from an officer’s rifle.

Poccia was suffering from depression but had not threatened to harm himself or others, said Poccia’s widow, Samanda Dorger, at the Friday news briefing.

She said she had told a law enforcement officer earlier in the day not to send police to the house. She was not home at the time of the shooting.

Poccia’s body remained in the street outside his house for about 12 hours while the killing was investigated, Runfola said.

The person who had called police told dispatchers that Poccia had firearms in the house, Napa County sheriff’s Capt. Tracey Stuart said earlier this week.

Poccia had fewer than a half dozen firearms in the home, Runfola said.

Gabrielle Poccia, 26, said her father, an emergency room nurse who was on disability for post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from his job at the time he was killed, was a helpful man and a healer.

“In the end when he needed help, the authorities came in,” she said. “They did not help, and he wound up dead in the street.”

Napa police did not immediately return a call Friday evening seeking comment on the call for an independent investigation.

(© 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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