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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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • bartsimpson

    F The Police!

  • Jimmy

    Those cops were cowards. They could have used non-lethal weapons to stop the man if that became necessary; talking calmly & respectfully may have defused the situation. As a last resort they could have shot him in the leg to stop his advance; instead they murdered him because they were terrified. Such people should not be police but that’s usually where they end up, because the biggest cowards are also bullies.

  • Jimmy

    I’m just an ignorant liberal who likes to arm chair quarter back everything I read on the internet. I guess I forgot that if the officers were to shoot the suspect in the “leg” they could be sued and lose their job for maiming. I also forgot that suspects’ who are mentally ill cause the most injuries to officers, but hey I don’t have the strength, honor or intestinal fortitude to do the job.

    I know its hard for me to use common sense but if you come towards police with a knife or any weapon in hand it’s probably not going to end well. Sounds more like suicide by cop.

    • jon

      Ha! Nice comeback!

  • Dave

    why is everything a zero some game??….it is either one way or the other if you are arguing ideologically. Have you ever heard of non-lethal methods? Might they have had bean bag shot guns or a taser? He had a knife after all, not a pistol

  • Slee Stak

    Jimmy – – – “talking calmly & respectfully may have defused the situation.”

    cops DON’T have to be respectful to YOU, but YOU MUST be respectful to them

    cops will never diffuse a situation they can ESCALATE

    there is no situation so awful that the presence of a police officer can’t MAKE WORSE

    they “left the body in the street for 12 hours while they investigated”
    tells you everything you need to know right there.

    cops are professional liars, bullies and COWARDS.

    ever wonder why the only friends a cop has are other cops???

    • Toadtown Canal

      That and local media suck up to the cops, unless it would offend a minority they are trying to add to reader/viewer/listenership. Rememer where the shooter of Oscar Grant was from. Call the Sheriff instead.

  • Jonny

    The Napa PD has officers that should be in prison for murder on more than one occasion. It is very obvious to me that these cops are “trigger happy”. If they want to kill somone than I would recomend joining the army in a combat arms M.O.S. I served in Iraq and I know. I served my time in hell. But I refuse to live in Napa to this day because I do not feel safe there. It is not the town that it used to be. I moved to Oakland!

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