Questions Surround Surge in Vallejo Police Shootings

Alex Emslie, KQED News, May 20, 2014
A review of six deadly incidents involving the Vallejo Police Department shows that one member of the 91-person police force - Officer Sean Kenney - appears to have been involved in three of the fatal shootings. Even in the context of an understaffed force contending with a high rate of violent crime, some Vallejo residents and an independent criminal justice expert say the number of fatal shootings and the apparent repeated involvement of one officer raises questions about the department's management and accountability. ... On April 29, Oakland civil rights attorneys Haddad & Sherwin filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Vallejo, the police department, Chief Kreins and Kenney, whom the lawsuit names as one of perhaps several police officers who may have opened fire killing Jeremiah Moore. Attorney Michael Haddad said that witness Jaime Alvarado's account suggests police invented their details of the shooting. ... Haddad is also critical of California law and law-enforcement policies that make it difficult to get basic information about officer-involved shootings. "We don't imagine the government can just take someone's life and not even explain why, and that's the situation we're living in in California," Haddad said. He added, "For them to be able to hide behind the law that protects police officers personnel information, to hide behind that law and not justify their taking of life is really abhorrent, and it's a situation that must be changed."

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