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This story from Saturday’s edition of the Bakersfield Californian is an interesting look at how police departments in California investigate shootings by their officers.

The main thrust of the story is that the local law enforcement agencies in Bakersfield investigate their own shootings, instead of the investigations being carried out by another agency, as is the norm for most agencies in California, including the San Diego Police Department, whose shootings are investigated by the District Attorney’s Office.

What’s perhaps most interesting from a San Diegan’s point of view is the sidebar in the article, which lists the number of shootings that occurred in several jurisdictions between Oct. 1, 2007 and Oct. 1, 2008. San Diego leads the field. Here’s the list:

A comparison of the number of officer-involved shootings involving officers firing their guns at people that various agencies had from Oct. 1, 2007 through Oct. 1, 2008, and whether they were ruled within policy.

  • Bakersfield Police Department — 4, all justified.
  • Kern County Sheriff’s Department — 2, both justified.
  • Orange County Sheriff’s Department — 3, two were justified and one was still under review.
  • Sacramento Police Department — 1, found justified.
    Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department — 1, found justified.
  • San Diego Police Department — 12. Four were not reviewed because the officers missed and the department does not review shootings where there are no injuries. Of the others, three were justified and five had investigations that were not finished yet.
  • San Francisco Police Department — 2, both justified.

So, in the last year, the San Diego Police Department has had six times as many shootings as its counterpart in San Francisco and four times as many shootings as the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

WILL CARLESS

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