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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 136619 Find in a Library
Title: DA's Role in Officer Involved Shootings
Journal: Law Enforcement Quarterly (May-July 1992)  Pages:11-14
Author(s): M R Pent
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 4
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Since the early 1970's, all shootings by police officers in San Diego which result in bodily injury and use of force incidents resulting in injury or death have been routinely reviewed by the district attorney (DA).
Abstract: The DA is a good choice for this job because of his public accountability and role as the chief State law enforcement officer in his jurisdiction. The DA operates independently from the police; part of his regular function is to evaluate alleged criminal conduct by civilians and police officers. Although the medical examiner, county grand jury, citizen review board, and U.S. Department of Justice all have some sort of oversight role, the DA is the best situated to oversee the review process. He makes an impartial, thorough investigation followed by a detailed written statement of the facts and the law. The DA submits a letter explaining to the public the circumstances of the case, why it happened, what the legal standard is, and what the legal conclusion is. The legal principles used to evaluate police use of force incidents revolve around self-defense and a reasonable fear for one's life. Other issues analyzed by the DA include the accidental use of deadly force, the use of deadly force to stop a fleeing felon, and accountability. 24 notes
Main Term(s): District attorneys; Police use of deadly force
Index Term(s): California; Lawful use of force
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