- Associated Press - Sunday, June 29, 2014

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) - Police agencies in four Southern California counties failed to report all fatal police shootings to state authorities in the five years spanning 2007 to 2011, the Orange County Register reported Sunday.

At least 67 deadly police shootings weren’t disclosed as required by state law, the newspaper found (https://bit.ly/1r21toy) upon reviewing state data and district attorney records of shootings in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and San Diego counties. The Riverside County district attorney’s office only keeps records of police shooting investigations for one year.

The findings highlight a confused and inadequate system for monitoring the use of police force, according to the paper. While California law requires police agencies to disclose officer-involved shootings to the state Department of Justice, officers blamed clerical slips and jurisdictional overlap for the lack of reporting.

“It gets confusing as to who’s going to do the notification,” said San Diego Lt. Jorge Duran, who is now an acting captain. “It’s not like we’re trying to hide it.”

State officials say reporting is the responsibility of the investigating agency, while some local agencies say it depends on where the shooting occurred, the newspaper said.

David Klinger, an associate professor who researches police force at the University of Missouri, St. Louis, said Los Angeles police and the county sheriff’s department reported about half as many fatal shootings to state and federal authorities as were logged internally between 1996 and 1998.

“The statistics as far as I’m concerned are highly flawed,” he said.


Information from: The Orange County Register, https://www.ocregister.com

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