SJPD Officer-Involved Shooting Investigation Process
Every officer-involved shooting that results in death is subject to a thorough investigation and review process. The Department's Homicide Unit conducts a criminal investigation which is then submitted to Santa Clara County District Attorney. Historically, the District Attorney's office presented the deadly force cases to a grand jury, however, the current District Attorney, Jeff Rosen, has had a policy of reviewing cases and then making the determination internally whether the officer-involved shooting was a crime.
In addition to the investigation conducted by the Homicide Unit, the Department's Internal Affairs Unit conducts a separate investigation. This is an administrative investigation to determine whether the use of force was within Department policy. If a member of the public files a complaint about the shooting incident, the investigation by Internal Affairs is provided to the IPA; the IPA then reviews and completes its audit of the investigation.
The extent of the IPA's role and responsibilities in connection with an officer-involved shooting depend upon whether a member of the public has filed a complaint about the incident. If a member of the public files a complaint about an officer-involved shooting incident, the role of the IPA in reviewing that incident is more extensive because the IPA will audit the Department's investigation of the incident.
Officer-Involved Shooting Training Review Panel
There is a third review of the incident, separate from the criminal investigation and the Department's administrative investigation. This review, called " Officer-Involved Shooting Training Review Panel" brings together staff from SJPD, the IPA, and the City Attorney's office to determine whether any training or equipment needs exist or if any changes to SJPD policies are recommended.
Role of IPA in Officer-Involved Shooting Incidents
IPA is notified of incident, and can respond to scene and be briefed by the Internal Affairs (IA) Unit Commander.
IPA can participate in the shooting review panel. IPA is provided with pertinent documents to prepare for panel.
IPA can participate in the Officer-Involved Incident Training Review Panel. IPA is provided with pertinent documents to prepare for panel.
The purpose of the panel is to determine whether any training or equipment needs exist or if any changes to SJPD policies are warranted. The panel does not determine whether the officer acted within SJPD policy.
IPA can attend interviews of witnesses and any subject officers conducted by IA.
The IPA can appeal the Department's determination to the City Manager.
Additional detail on procedures following an officer-involved shooting incident is provided by SJPD at http://www.sjpd.org/BOI/Homicide/OIS_FAQ.html
The mission of the Office of the Independent Police Auditor (IPA) is to provide independent oversight of and instill confidence in the complaint process through objective review of police misconduct investigations.
By providing outreach to the San José community and making thoughtful policy recommendations to the City Council, the IPA works to promote accountability and to strengthen the relationship between the San José Police Department and the community it serves.
IPA Guiding Principles
IPA Statement of Values & No-Gift Policy