SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — The independent police auditor in San Jose has issued a yearly report on the city’s police department. Chief among the recommendations is for the police department to change the way it internally investigates use-of-force incidents by officers.
The department has not commented on the report yet and Chief Larry Esquivel still has to read through it all. But recommendations in the audit are pushing the department to hold officers more accountable when using force.READ MORE: California Reopens: Newsom Marks End of COVID Restrictions, Awards $1.5M to 10 Vaccine Recipients
Last year, video showed a San Jose police officer slamming a woman into his car. According to police, the off-duty officer was allegedly rear-ended by the woman who drove off. The officer chased her down, showed her his badge, then the struggle began. Internal affairs determined the officer’s use of force was justified.READ MORE: Will The Ford Maverick Be A Game-Changer In The Auto Industry?
Now there’s a call for the department to look closer when an officer uses force, to see if the punishment fit the crime. “When they, internal affairs, looks at the appropriateness of the force, was it excessive, they should also look at what gave rise,” said independent police auditor LaDoris Cordell. “What was the crime that got everything started? And that’s not in the mix.”
Cordell took a look at more than 300 public complaints over use of force in 2014 alone. The auditor’s report recommends a more thorough examination of use-of-force incidents, and the role officers played in them.MORE NEWS: Breed: Free Rides As San Francisco Cable Cars Return In August For Test Runs
“It might send a message to officers to understand that if there’s a complaint made by your use of force, the department is going to look at what gave rise to the force. What did you do that may have, or may not have, but may have provoked the force?” Cordell said.