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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76409 Find in a Library
Title: When LA (Los Angeles) Police Shoot - The D A (District Attorney) 'Rolls Out'
Journal: Police Magazine  Volume:4  Issue:2  Dated:(March 1981)  Pages:17-20
Author(s): D Johnston
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 4
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney's 'Roll-Out' program for independent investigations of police officers' use of deadly force is described.
Abstract: Prior to the program's initiation in early 1979, investigations of Los Angeles Police Department police shootings were conducted internally unless supervisors suspected a criminal act was involved. However, an independent probe of the department's findings in one shooting produced material that was sharply at variance with the official department report. As a result, the Police Commission ordered Los Angeles law enforcement agencies to notify the district attorney for a possible independent investigation each time an officer-involved shooting occurred, and it ordered improvements in police training. In the Roll-Out program, investigators from the district attorney's office go immediately to each police shooting in the jurisdiction, review the police investigation, make their own probe (if necessary), and prepare detailed reports of their findings. The reports are concerned with the narrow issue of whether the officers involved committed criminal acts, but observations of the officers' tactics and of other broader issues are sometimes included. At present, 13 attorneys and 16 investigators in the district attorney's office devote about 30 percent of their time to the program. Although many police officers are highly critical of the program, others -- including some involved in shootings and most police chiefs -- are pleased with its activities, which often support police findings and help defuse public criticism. However, some black community leaders regard Roll-Out as a program that produces paperwork but no prosecutions. Although it is too early to determine if the program has resulted in fewer shootings, preliminary statistics suggest that shootings in 1980 may have declined 22 percent from 1979. Sample cases are reviewed, and photographs are included.
Index Term(s): California; Criminal investigation; District attorneys; Lawful use of force; On-duty offenses; Police attitudes; Police reform; Police use of deadly force; Police weapons use
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