California: Study by Texas State University found law enforcement agencies in California and Texas fail to report use-of-force fatalities.
According to a study by Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, law enforcement agencies in California and Texas failed to report use-of-force fatalities as required by law in the past decade.
In the study that was reported by the Houston Chronicle newspaper, Texas State University found registries created by the 2 states to report all in-custody deaths did not list about 220 use-of-force fatalities in Texas and 440 in California from 2005-2015.
The attorney general’s offices and law enforcement agencies in California and Texas confirmed in the study that the newspaper reported.
** Read more about the study at the following Houston Chronicle website address: **
According to Howard Williams, Texas State University Professor, we are not really blaming anyone — this is an incredibly complex problem. It’s hard to change policy, improve training, or purchase new equipment when you simply lack the data to even know what’s going on.
California and Texas are the only states to require reporting of all in-custody deaths, including jail deaths and officer-involved shootings, and in each state, the attorney general’s office collect those reports.
Failing to report a death at the hands of a law enforcement officer is a misdemeanor in Texas, but there’s no penalty in California.
According to California Attorney General’s Office Spokeswoman Brenda Gonzalez, our office have already been asking law enforcement agencies to file missing reports but added California’s custodial death reporting law has “no explicit enforcement mechanism.”
In addition to requiring reports on use-of-force and in-custody deaths, both California and Texas also recently passed new laws requiring law enforcement agencies to report all shooting incidents, whether those shot survive or die.
According to Texas Attorney General’s Office Spokeswoman Kayleigh Lovvorn, in Texas, the new police shooting law took effect in 2015 and the attorney general’s office has contacted all departments and tried to boost compliance with both laws, but enforcement falls to individual district attorney’s offices.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Fresno Police Department failed to report the most officer-involved shooting deaths in California.
According to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Spokeswoman Nicole Nishida, after reviewing a list of its 34 missing cases, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department had failed to file any required reports from 2006 to 2011 because of a “clerical error”, but the agency failed to report 4 more deaths in 2013 and 2014.
“We are currently undertaking efforts to systematically update the data to the California Department of Justice following their reporting protocol,” said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Spokeswoman Nicole Nishida.
** Picture from the Houston Chronicle: **
The Houston Chronicle posted this list of “Failure to Report” for California and Texas from 2005-2015 and on that list, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department is listed with 12.
ZachNews contacted the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department for comments regarding this news story, but is still awaits their response.
** Stay tuned to ZachNews for more news updates with more information regarding this news story. **