Senate Bill 1421 took effect on January 1 of this year and requires the release of law enforcement records relating to officer involved shootings, uses of force resulting in death or great bodily injury and sustained findings against peace officers of dishonesty or sexual assault, as defined by the law. Such records had previously been exempt from public disclosure.
All records released must be thoroughly reviewed to ensure legally protected personal information of victims, witnesses, the accused, law enforcement and other involved parties are redacted. Each record is separately reviewed by investigators, human resources staff, county counsel, and records personnel. This painstaking process ensures all aspects are reviewed and all responsive information and details are disclosed.
As your Sheriff, I know that the trust of the community is vital to providing effective law enforcement services. In 2018, our deputies responded to 363,023 calls for service. Of those, only 0.1% resulted in a use of force. As is clear from these numbers, the vast majority of our deputies use force sparingly and only under the most difficult of circumstances.
I encourage you to view these records, absent the lens of sensationalism and innuendo. I trust that you will view these records judiciously, and see that the vast majority of our deputies do an excellent job, often under difficult circumstances, with professionalism and integrity. And I hope you trust that when mistakes happen, we have a record of holding our people accountable.
Redactions were made to the responsive records as follows:
Home addresses, personal phone numbers, dates of birth, driver’s license numbers (Penal Code 832.7(b)(5)(A))
Names of victims and witnesses (Penal Code 832.7(b)(5)(B))
Current undercover officers because disclosure of their identifies would compromise their safety and pending investigations (Penal Code 832.7(b)(5)(D); 832.7(b)(6))
Juvenile names (Welfare and Institutions Code 827; Penal Code 832.7(b)(5)(B))
Personal information about an individual who was the subject of a use of force (Penal Code 832.7(b)(5)(C))
We have also blurred images on the video recordings of the following:
The faces of victims and witnesses (Penal Code 832.7(b)(5)(B))
The private body parts of inmates (Penal Code 832.7(b)(5)(C))
We have withheld the audio recording of an interview with the victim of a sexual assault as defined by SB 1421 (Government Code 6254.4.5)
SB 1421 requires the disclosure of records relating to an incident in which the use of force resulted in great bodily injury. Because SB 1421 does not define “great bodily injury,” we are using the definition of “serious bodily injury” in Government Code section 12525.2, subdivision (d) as follows: “[A] bodily injury that involves a substantial risk of death, unconsciousness, protracted and obvious disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member or organ.” We have included incidents where the subject had a broken bone, or where a deputy used the carotid control hold, causing the subject to briefly lose consciousness.
On April 2, 2015, deputies were involved in a use of force that occurred in the booking loop of the Intake Release Center jail located in Santa Ana. The use of force was determined to be within policy.
Deputy Nicholas Caropino was accused of sexually assaulting a female prior to booking her into jail, and engaging in sexual behavior with the female at her residence days later. Caropino was terminated from employment on August 18, 2015. The District Attorney’s office declined to file criminal charges against Caropino.
On October 23, 2014, deputies were involved in a use of force that occurred in the booking loop of the Intake Release Center jail located in Santa Ana. The use of force was determined to be within policy.
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