Independent Team Formed by LA District Attorney Gascón to Re-Examine Fatal Use-of-Force Incidents

George Gascón at a candidate’s forum in February 2020

The Vanguard Staff

LOS ANGELES, CA – An independent team will re-examine fatal use-of-force incidents by law enforcement officers here and recommend action if warranted, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón Wednesday.

“Until there is a standard that mandates a shooting is lawful when it is absolutely necessary and the last resort, we are going to continue to have unnecessary shootings that cause public outcry and skepticism,” District Attorney Gascón said.

He added, “We eventually need to create legislation that gives the county the ability to create a separate entity that can independently review these cases.”

For now, The Factual Analysis Citizen Consulting Team (FACCT), said the DA, will comprise community members, civil rights attorneys, scholars and constitutional police practices experts.

Gascón explained the group will identify and prioritize use-of-force cases to review, including those where there is contrary forensic evidence or witness testimony, evidence from a civil or criminal case or impeachment evidence.

Gascón first announced plans to launch FACCT in a letter he sent to the county’s police chiefs on the day of his inauguration. As the nation’s first Chief of Police to be appointed as a District Attorney, Gascón noted he has taught use-of-force policies and made disciplinary decisions on officers who had inappropriately used force.

“Significant concerns have been raised by law enforcement officials, civil rights attorneys, activists and others regarding the handling of numerous police use-of-force cases,” said District Attorney Gascón.

“In order to restore trust and move forward as a community, I am convening this group to thoroughly review the evidence and make recommendations on cases that we may need to examine more closely,” he added.

FACCT will work with law students at the University of California, Irvine. The students will review the case files, analyze the cases and present them to FACCT members. Students from the Dornsife Trial Advocacy Program at the University of Southern California will also help.

The District Attorney’s Office is expected, said Gascón, to make the final decision on whether additional investigation is necessary, the matter is assigned to a special prosecutor or criminal charges will be filed.

Gascón released the FACCT team (below):

Civil rights attorneys, scholars and activists:

  • Shimica Gaskins –Executive Director of the Children’s Defense Fund, California, and former Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Policy of the U.S. Department of Justice
  • Je Yon Jung — Civil rights attorney; former senior trial attorney for the Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
  • Erwin Chemerinsky –Dean of the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, and constitutional scholar
  • Barry Litt — Civil rights attorney and Partner at McLane, Bednarski and Litt, LLP
  • Paula Minor – Black Lives Matter, Los Angeles organizer and activist
  • Carlos Montes — Centro CSO-Chicano activist and organizer; Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council board member
  • Melanie Ochoa — Senior staff attorney for Criminal Justice and Police Practices, American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California
  • Olu Orange — Director of the University of Southern California Dornsife Trial Advocacy Program and the Agents of Change Civil Rights Advocacy Initiative; civil rights attorney at Orange Law Offices, P.C.
  • Robert Saltzman – Commissioner, Los Angeles County Probation Oversight Commission and West Hollywood Business License Commission; former Commissioner, Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners; former Associate Dean, USC Gould School of Law

Academic law clinics/programs:

  • Professor Paul Hoffman –Director Civil Rights Clinic and partner at Schonbrun, DeSimone, Seplow, Harris, & Hoffman, LLP
  • Professor Katie Tinto — Director Criminal Justice Clinic and Clinical Professor of Law; former public defender, Alternate Public Defender’s Office of Los Angeles County
  • Melanie Partow — Lecturer, Civil Rights Clinic and civil rights attorney

Police practices experts and advisors:

  • TheronBowman — Former Chief of Police Arlington, Texas; former Deputy City Manager/Director Public Safety for Arlington; and CEO, Theron L. Bowman Inc.
  • Allwyn Brown – Former Chief of Police, Richmond, California and LERT Ops lead at Tik Tok
  • Roger Clark – Former lieutenant, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and CEO, Police Practices Consultant, Inc.
  • Frank Fernandez  — President of Blueprints 4 Safety; former Deputy Chief and Chief of Operations for Miami Police Department; and Public Safety Director for the City of Coral Gables

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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