DALY CITY (CBS SF) — City officials have formally requested that California Attorney General Rob Bonta conduct an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting of Roger Cornelius Allen by Daly City police officers during a traffic stop on Apr. 7.
The city also plans to hire an outside expert to lead the administrative investigation that includes reviewing whether the officers complied with police policies, procedures and tactics.
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“We are taking these important steps to provide the community with the most independent, impartial and
transparent investigations possible,” said Mayor Juslyn C. Manalo in a news release. “Building and maintaining trust is a foundational priority, and the City Council and I take this responsibility very seriously.”
Separately, the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office is also leading the investigation into whether the officers acted within the law.
According to the account of the shooting released by police, an officer patrolling the 700 block of Niantic Avenue noticed a truck with a flat tire and stopped to see if he could be of help.
The driver got out of the vehicle to speak with the officer as three more officers showed up at the scene. A woman was in the back seat and Allen was in the front passenger seat.
San Mateo County District Attorney Stephen Wagstaffe told The San Francisco Chronicle that the officers noticed what appeared to be a gun on Allen’s lap.
A struggle ensued and Allen was fatally shot in the chest. Investigators later discovered the weapon was actually a BB gun.
None of the four officers involved were wearing body cameras at the time of the shooting. In the wake of the shooting, Daly City officials have approved funding to purchase body cameras for all their officers.
At the request of the City Council, City Attorney Rose Zimmerman sent a letter to Bonta on Friday requesting that his office begin a parallel investigation of the incident.
On July 1, 2021, Assembly Bill 1506 goes into effect, providing Bonta’s office with the ability to take over investigations into officer-involved shootings of unarmed civilians.
“We are aware of OIS incidents in which your office joined local law enforcement in such investigations,” Zimmerman wrote. “In anticipation of the new laws, which authorizes the California Department of Justice to take over investigations of officer-involved shootings, we also seek your office’s direction to conduct an independent investigation of the OIS.”