DA announces transparency policy on fatal police encounters

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All reports on fatal incidents involving members of law enforcement in Contra Costa County will be released “if no charges are filed,” District Attorney Diana Becton announced today, citing a desire for greater transparency.

Under the new policy, reports will be posted on the DA’s office website at the conclusion of the DA’s investigation, a practice that has been inconsistent in the past, the DA’s office says.

The DA’s office conducts an independent criminal investigation when an officer or civilian is shot, killed or dies during an encounter with a law enforcement agency.

“The public reports will summarize the results of the independent criminal investigation and give a legal analysis of the facts,” according to the DA’s office. “DA Becton will review the report prepared by the assigned deputy district attorney before they are released.”

Said Becton, “One of the primary concerns I heard from residents upon taking office in 2017 was the need for greater transparency in the criminal justice system. With this permanent policy in place, I am confident my office will continue to provide information to the public in a timely and transparent manner.”

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