Law Enforcement Misconduct Focus of Prosecutors Alliance of California First National Conference in November

Gavel with open book and scales on table

Gavel with open book and scales on table

By Yenah Lee

BERKELEY, CA – The Prosecutors Alliance of California (PAC), in collaboration with University of California, Berkeley School of Law, will be holding its first national conference Nov. 2-4—it will be focused on prosecuting law enforcement misconduct

Formed by Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón in 2020, PAC is a non-profit organization with the mission of reforming the criminal justice system to improve public safety and community well-being by magnifying the voices of California prosecutors, victim advocates, and allies.

PAC said it intends to provide a collaborative space for prosecutors, academics, and experts throughout the nation to take away effective methods for prosecuting police misconduct cases that result in death.

The conference will feature speakers, including Minnesota’s Attorney General Keith Ellison, California’s Attorney General Rob Bonta, and Gascón. AG Ellison was the prosecutor in charge of George Floyd’s case of police brutality resulting in death.

“There are trainings and conferences covering nearly every type of case other than law enforcement misconduct,” explained Cristine DeBerry, founder & executive director of the Prosecutors Alliance of California.

DeBerry noted that, according to the Washington Post, there have been nearly 9,000 fatal police shootings in the U.S. in the past eight years, adding although not every police shooting is tied to illegal activity, prosecuting police officers for unlawful behavior can become complicated with the conflict of interest between police and prosecutors.

DeBerry said police and prosecutors’ conflict of interest is caused by their departments’ interdependency, and because both parties depend on each other to provide information and access, charging and prosecuting law enforcement officers can strain the relationship. DeBerry describes these cases as ones with “unique challenges.”

“If we don’t prepare prosecutors for the complexities of these cases, we may fail to hold law enforcement accountable when they break the law,” argues DeBerry.

About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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