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Public Safety

Roundtable Looks At How The Police Deal With Parole, Transparency, Mental Illness

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Roundtable Looks At How The Police Deal with Parole
Roundtable Looks At How The Police Deal With Parole, Transparency, Mental Illness
Cecena Parole, SDPD Transparency, Confronting The Mentally IllHOST:Mark SauerGUESTS:Dana Littlefield, reporter, San Diego Union-Tribune Liam Dillon, reporter, Voice of San Diego Kelly Davis, freelance criminal justice reporter

ON TODAY'S ROUNDTABLE ISSUES SURROUNDING PAROLE FOR JUVENILE -- JUVENILE DEFENDERS. WHY IS RESEARCH SCARCE ON THE USE OF LETHAL FORCE BY POLICE AND SOME OF THE BEST FEATURES HEARD ON CBS THIS WEEK'S. PLUS THE LATEST ON EARLY WARNING SYSTEMS FOR EARTHQUAKES I AM MARK SAUER K PBB -- KPBS MIDDAY EDITION IS NEXT BUT 1st THIS NEWS. [MUSIC] WELCOME TO OUR DISCUSSION OF THE WEEK. JOINING ME TODAY ARE DANA LITTLEFIELD OF THE SAN DIEGO TRIBUNE. HI, DANA. REPORTER LIAM DILLON, THE VOICE OF SAN DIEGO HI, MARK AND FREELANCE JUSTICE REPORTER KELLY DAVIS HI, MARK IT WAS A SENSELESS AND VICIOUS CRIME. ARE TWO BUGS WAS GUNNED DOWN IN 1978. CONVICTED WAS JESUS SALVADOR. HE WAS 17 AT THE TIME AND HIS HEARING IS TODAY FOR PAROLE. REVIEW THE CIRCUMSTANCES ON THAT NIGHT BACK IN NOVEMBER 1978? ARE TWO BUGS WAS OUT ON PATROL IN THE SKYLINE AREA. HE PULLED OVER OR HE STOPPED THE CAR THAT WAS SPEEDING IN THE AREA. IN IT WERE TWO KNOWN GANG MEMBERS AT THE TIME, ONE WAS JESUS AND THE OTHER ONE WAS OR TAKE UP. HE WAS 17 AT THE TIME AND HIS PARTNER WAS 20. HE WAS DRIVING HIS MOTHER'S CAR WITHOUT A LICENSE. HE SAID LATER HE PANICKED HAVING BEEN PULLED OVER HE GOT OUT OF THE CAR AND GOT THE GUN FROM A PASSENGER IN FIRED REPEATEDLY AND THE OFFICER SEVERAL SHOTS. HAS HE ADMITTED TO KILLING THE OFFICER? BACK THERE WAS TESTIMONY AT THE TRIAL BACK IN 1979 THAT HE HAD TOLD HIS GIRLFRIEND AT THE TIME AFTER THE SHOOTING HE WENT TO THE GIRLFRIEND'S HOME AND TOLD THE GIRLFRIEND I KILLED A COP AND THAT HE WAS AFRAID. HE MADE A COMMENT ABOUT BEING AFRAID AND HE MAY HAVE LAUGHED AT THE TIME AFTER SAYING THAT. THEY MADE BE CONSIDERED A CONFESSION. SINCE THEN HE HAS MADE STATEMENTS THAT SOME BELIEVE IS TAKING RESPONSIBILITY. SOME OTHERS DISPUTE THAT THAT IS A POINT OF CONTENTION AT THE PAROLE HEARINGS. HE'S BEEN UP FOR PAROLE SEVERAL TIMES AND DENIED BUT THE CIRCUMSTANCES HAVE CHANGED. WE HAVE SENATE BILL 260 AND WHAT DIFFERENCE MIGHT IT MAKE IN A CASE LIKE THIS? SENATE BILL 26 EIGHT MODIFIED THE RULES, WE WILL SAY, FOR PAROLE HEARINGS. IT BASICALLY MADE THE PROCESS TAKE INTO ACCOUNT A PERSON'S AGE AT THE TIME HE OR SHE COMMITTED THE CRIME. IS THAT PERSON IS A JUVENILE THAT IS SOMETHING THAT THE PAROLE BOARD IS ASKED TO CONSIDER AND WHETHER OR NOT THE PERSON WAS RECOMMENDED FOR RELEASE HE WAS RECOMMENDED FOR PAROLE BUT HE DID NOT GET PAROLE. HE WAS RECOMMENDED FOR PAROLE BY TWO MEMBERS OF THE PAROLE BOARD A MAJORITY THERE ARE ONLY TWO IN THE PAROLE HEARING. HE WAS RECOMMENDED FOR PAROLE BUT THE GOVERNOR AFTERWARD, JERRY BROWN, REVIEWED THE DECISION IN THE RECOMMENDATION AND REJECTED IT AND DETERMINED THAT JESUS WAS NOT READY FOR PAROLE AND BASICALLY HE HAD NOT FULLY ADMITTED RESPONSIBILITY WERE TAKEN RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHAT HE DID ON THAT NIGHT IN 1978 HOUSEKEEPING. HE'S CONVICTED AT AGE 17 FOR KILLING THE OFFICER. WHAT WAS THE ACTUAL SENTENCE? 25 TO LIFE WE EXPECT HE WAS SENTENCED TO LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE, INITIALLY. THAT WAS MODIFIED LATER BY AN APPELLATE COURT WHO BASICALLY GAVE HIM LIFE WITH PAROLE, WHICH ESSENTIALLY PAROLES -- BOILS DOWN TO SEVEN YEARS TO LIFE. HE HAS BEEN IN PRISON FOR MORE THAN 30 YEARS UP FOR PAROLE MORE THAN ONE DOZEN TIMES. DISTRICT ATTORNEY BONNIE, THIS STILL OBJECTS CHIEF -- POLICE CHIEF AND MANY OTHER OFFICERS STILL OBJECTS TO THIS INMATE GETTING PAROLED. WHAT IS THE REASONING? ESSENTIALLY THEY HAVE SAID THAT THIS IS A PERSON WHO IS STILL DANGEROUS AND STILL POSES A PUBLIC DANGER AND SHOULD NOT BE RELEASED FROM PRISON. FAR BE IT FROM ME TO GET IN THE HEADS OF SHELLEY ZIMMERMAN OR BONNIE DAMAN AS. I FEEL COMFORTABLE SAYING THIS MAN IS A COP KILLER AND I WOULD NOT -- IT WAS NOT BE LIKELY THAT THESE PEOPLE WOULD RECOMMEND FOR HIM TO BE RELEASED UNUSUAL FOR A DA TO GO ARGUE IN PERSON? BACK I WOULD SAY SO. THERE IS A DEPUTY THAT HANDLES THESE. IT IS HIS JOB TO GO TO THE PRISONS AND ARGUE ON BEHALF OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEYS OFFICE BUT THIS TIME SHE WENT IN PERSON AND IT IS WORTH MENTIONING ALSO THAT ONE OF HER STAFF MEMBERS ACTUALLY WAS ARE TWO BUGS HIS PARTNER BACK IN THE 70s. SO JESSE NAVARRO WHO WORKS IN COMMUNITY RELATIONS IN THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE WAS ARE TWO BUGS PARTNER AND WAS THERE ON THE SCENE SHORTLY AFTER HE WAS SHOT ON THE INMATE SIDE, WHAT IS THE MAIN ARGUMENT FOR GRANTING HIM PAROLE? WHAT IS THE ATTORNEY SAYING AND WHAT IS IN HIS FAVOR? HE ARGUES HE IS NOT THE SAME PERSON. HE SAYS HE IS NOT THAT IMPULSIVE PERSON OR THAT SELFISH PERSON THAT HE WAS BACK THEN. HE ALSO SAYS THAT IN THE DECADES HE HAS SPENT BEHIND THE BARS HE HAS BEEN ACTIVE IN TRYING TO CHANGE HIMSELF AND TO HELP TO CHANGE OTHERS. HE HAS PARTICIPATED IN VARIOUS PROGRAMS. HE HAS SPEARHEADED SOME PROGRAMS TO HELP YOUNGER INMATES UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY HAVE DONE OR TO HELP THEIR VICTIMS IN SOME WAY. THERE WAS A FUND RAISER OF SOME TYPE THAT WAS ORGANIZED IN PRISON THAT HE WAS A PART OF. SO HE SAYS HE'S A DIFFERENT PERSON. HE'S GONE THROUGH COUNSELING AND HE HAS BECOME A DIFFERENT PERSON NOW THAT HE IS 54 YEARS OLD AGAIN THE HEARING IS TODAY. HOW LONG BEFORE WE KNOW? THEY PROBABLY ARE NOT GOING TO COME RIGHT BACK USUALLY THEY MAKE THE DECISION THE SAME DAY THERE IS NO TELLING HOW LONG THE HEARING WILL BE. IT STARTED THIS MORNING. IS ALSO THE DELIBERATIVE PROCESS. I WOULD NOT WAGER A GUESS AS TO HOW LONG THAT WILL TAKE THE GOVERNOR COULD STEP IN IT DID WANT TO SHIFT GEARS TO PROP 47 THE LAWS PAT -- THE LAWS PASSED BY VOTERS IN 2014. WEEKLY, WHAT DOES THAT DO? PROP 47 REDUCED SOME FELONY CRIMES TO MISDEMEANORS. SOME LOWER-LEVEL NINE -- NONVIOLENT CRIMES. FOR EXAMPLE, SOME PROPERTY CRIMES WHERE THE AMOUNT THAT WAS STOLEN OR TAKEN IS LESS THAN $950. SIMPLE DRUG POSSESSION AS WELL. THAT WOULD NO LONGER BE A FELONY AND IS NOW A MISDEMEANOR. AND BASICALLY YOU CAN BREAK DOWN THE EFFECT OF THAT LOT INTO THREE CATEGORIES. YOU HAVE THE PEOPLE WHO ARE NOW GOING TO BE ACCUSED OF THOSE CHRIST. -- CRIMES. YOU HAVE PEOPLE IN CUSTODY NOW SERVING TIME ON FELONIES BROTHER FELONY CONVICTIONS -- CONVICTIONS CAN BE RECLASSIFIED AS MISDEMEANOR AND THEN YOU HAVE THOSE PEOPLE WHO HAVE ALREADY SERVED THEIR TIME WITH HER FELONY CONVICTIONS AND THEY CAN HAVE THOSE FELONIES RECLASSIFIED RETROACTIVELY AND IT AFFECT THEIR RECORD WHY WAS DAMAN AS OPPOSED TO SUCH REDUCTIONS FOR JUVENILES? THE MAIN ARGUMENT WAS THAT THE STRUCTURE JUVENILE COURT PROCEEDINGS IS DIFFERENT THAN THE ADULT PROCEEDINGS. IN ADULT COURT ONE OF THE MAIN OBJECTIVES IS PUNISHMENT. YOU COMMITTED THE CRIME, YOU SERVE OUT SOME PUNISHMENT FOR THAT. ON THE JUVENILE SIDE IT'S A DIFFERENT. THE MAIN GOAL IS NOT PUNISHMENT REHAB. THE ARGUMENT THEY ARE IS BECAUSE OF THE DIFFERENCES IN THE SYSTEM THAT RETROACTIVELY CLASSIFICATION WOULD NOT APPLY SHE LOST ON THAT SHE DID. APPELLATE COURT SAID ALL OF THE COMPONENTS OF APPELLATE COURT APPLY TO JUVENILES AS WELL WE WILL BE WATCHING YOUR REPORTING AND IN THE OFFICER SHOOTING AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS AS WE GO FORWARD WITH PROP 47. WE ARE GOING TO MOVE ON NOW. SHELLEY ZIMMERMAN BECAME POLICE CHIEF AT -- 17 MONTHS AGO AFTER SCANDALS. SHE VOWED TO BE OPEN AND HAVE NO TOLERANCE FOR WAYWARD OFFICERS AND RESTORE PUBLIC TRUST. BUT THE STORY THIS WEEK PORTRAYS A CHIEF FAR LESS TRANSPARENT. START BY TELLING US WHERE THE DEPARTMENT RANKS NATIONALLY IN THE TRANSPARENCY SCALE? SURE. THERE WAS A WRIST -- A RECENT STUDY DONE AND THEY RANKED SAN DIEGO POLICE NEAR THE BOTTOM. ESPECIALLY WHEN COMPARED TO OTHER LARGE CITIES. THE TRANSPARENCY SCORE OF THE POLICE DEPARTMENT WAS CLOSE TO THE BOTTOM WHEN COMPARED TO OTHER COMPARABLE DEPARTMENTS AND WHAT ABOUT IN THIS AREA? SOME LOWER AND SOME HIGHER BUT AGAIN GIVEN THE SIZE OF THE DEPARTMENT A BETTER COMPARISON WOULD BE WHERE THEY ARE NATIONALLY YOU CITE FOR INSTANCES -- FOUR INSTANCES. WE WILL START BY THE FATAL SHOOTING OF A MAN THIS SPRING THERE IS SECURITY CAMERAS THAT WAS TAKEN BY A NEARBY BUSINESS. THE FOOTAGE, ROUGHLY THAT PERSON SAID THERE WAS NO PROVOCATION FOR THE POLICE SHOOTING. AND SO THERE ARE A NUMBER OF FOLKS WHO ARE PUSHING A FEDERAL COURT TO HAVE THAT VIDEO RELEASED. ZIMMERMAN HAS REFUSED TO MAKE A PUBLIC EVEN THOUGH AT TIMES SHE IS SAID WHEN THERE ARE DISPUTED POLICE SHOOTINGS SHE WOULD CONSIDER RELEASING IT AND WE HAVE ONE AND NOW WE HAVE WON AND SHE WON'T DO IT IS IT JUSTIFIED? UNDER THE RECORDS ACT, EVIDENCE IS EXEMPT FROM DISCLOSURE. HOWEVER, THAT WOULD BE A BETTER ARGUMENT, IN MY VIEW, IF THERE WAS SOME GUARANTEE THAT IT WOULD BE RELEASED. IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE A EVEN IF THE DA DECIDED NOT TO PROSECUTE, THAT WOULD STILL BE ACCORDING TO THE LAW SOMETHING THEY WOULD NOT HAVE TO DISCLOSE BUT FOR TRANSPARENCY SAKE WE WOULD ARGUE THAT THIS IS A RELEVANT ISSUE OKAY. WE DO HAVE A BY HERE IN OCTOBER LAST YEAR. CHIEF ZIMMERMAN APPEARED. THIS WAS A PANEL FOR PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISTS AND TALK ABOUT THE ISSUE OF BODY CAMERAS AND TRANSPARENCY AND LET'S SEE WHAT SHE HAD TO SAY THERE RIGHT NOW OFFICERS MUST RECORD ALL ENFORCEMENT CONTACTS. LET ME EXPLAIN HOW THE CAMERA WORKS. WHEN THE OFFICERS GO IN THE SERVICE THEY PUT THE CAMERA ON AND THE CAMERA IS ALWAYS ON A 32nd BUFFERING LOOP. ONCE THE OFFICER -- ALL RIGHT, SHE'S EXPLAINING THEIR WHAT IS HAPPENED. REGARDING BODY CAMERAS HAS SHE LIVED UP TO PROMISES TO MAKE THAT PUBLIC OR HAVE WE HAD NOT ENOUGH INSTANCES TO TEST IT? AND THIS SHOOTING WE WERE JUST DISCUSSING THE OFFICER DID NOT TURN HIS BODY CAMERA ON. AS FAR AS BODY CAMERAS IN GENERAL AGAIN ZIMMERMAN SAID IT'S UP TO ME WHETHER I DECIDE WHETHER WE ARE GOING TO RELEASE BODY CAMERA FOOTAGE. WHAT IS INTERESTING ABOUT THAT IS WHEN THE CHIEF FORMER PITCHED THE IDEA -- HE NOTED THAT AS A TRANSPARENCY TO TOOL. HE SAID EVERYONE GETS A CHANCE TO LOOK AT THIS VIDEO. NOW ONCE THE CITY COUNCIL PASSED THE LEGISLATION TO ALLOW THE DEPARTMENT TO BUY IT NOW THE DEPARTMENT IS SAYING THIS IS EVIDENCE NOW SO NOBODY CAN SEE IT. IT'S ANOTHER INSTANCE WHERE THE TOOL WAS BEING PROMISED AND INSTEAD IT'S ONLY FOR EYES ONLY AT THE POLICE DEPARTMENT LET'S GET BACK TO THE INSTANCES CITED IN YOUR STORY. NEXT WAS INVESTIGATION OF KARL DEMAIO AND ALLEGATIONS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT. WHAT HAPPENED BUT. THERE WAS ONCE SPECIFIC INSTANCE RELATED TO THIS CASE WHICH DOESN'T FALL INTO THE EVIDENCE ARGUMENT, HERE IS A SEPARATE SITUATION WHERE WHEN THE ALLEGATIONS WERE 1st STARTED HE SAID I GOT A CALL FROM SHELLEY ZIMMERMAN AND SHE TOLD ME PERSONALLY I WAS COOL. THE INVESTIGATION WAS OVER. AND SO WHEN WE ASKED ABOUT ZIMMERMAN SHE REFUSED TO TALK ABOUT IT. AND THEN WE SAID SHE -- WE WANT TO SEE YOUR PHONE RECORDS WHICH SHE REFUSED TO GIVE THOSE UP TOO AND THAT GOES AGAINST WHAT HER BOSS SAYS SHE SHOULD BE DOING. THE MAYOR SAID THAT RECORDS RELATED TO CELL PHONES, WHETHER TEXT MESSAGES OR CALL LOGS, EVEN THOSE ON PRIVATE CELL PHONES ARE THINGS THAT SHOULD BE DISCLOSED. THEY MAY NOT AND AT STILL ARGUABLE WHERE THEY HAVE TO BE AND HE SAYS THEY SHOULD BE IN HERE IS AN INSTANCE AGAIN WHERE ZIMMERMAN DECIDED NOT TO DO IT IN CONTRAST WITH WHAT HER BOSS SAID SHOULD BE DONE. AND WE NEVER GOT AN ANSWER WE DID TALK ABOUT THE BODY CAMERAS SITUATION BUT -- BUT LET'S FINALLY CITE THE FORMS THE DEPARTMENT RECOMMENDS FOLLOWING THE SCALING CRITIQUE OF THE SYSTEM. THAT WAS THE SYSTEM TO MODIFY AND I HAD TO FIGHT AND MONITOR THAT IS TO IDENTIFY PROBLEM -- PROBLEM OFFICERS. WHAT ABOUT THE DOJ REPORT? ONE OF THE BIGGEST CRITICISMS THAT WAS LEVELED WAS THEIR SYSTEM FOR MODIFYING AND IDENTIFYING PROBLEM OFFICERS IS BROKEN. WE HAD AN OFFICER THAT WAS NOT IDENTIFIED AS SOMEONE HAVING PROBLEMS EVEN THOUGH THERE WERE MANY CLEAR SIGNS THAT HE WAS. THEY SAID THIS WAS A HUGE SIGN AND ZIMMERMAN AGREED AND COMMISSIONED AN INTERNAL REPORT AND SAID WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT THIS. WE ASKED FOR THE REPORT WE -- YOU GOT THE REPORT? WE SORT OF DID. THERE ARE FOUR PAGES OF RECOMMENDATIONS THAT THEY GAVE TO THE CHIEF BUT IF YOU TAKE A LOOK AT THOSE FOUR PAGES THEY ARE ALL REDACTED. WE GOT NOT ONE RECOMMENDATION THAT WAS MADE TO THE CHIEF OR HOW TO FIX THE SYSTEM LET'S ASK OUR BUDGET -- OTHER JUSTICE REPORTERS ON THE PANEL. HAVE YOU HAD TROUBLE WITH THIS TRANSPARENCY PROBLEM WITH THE POLICE DEPARTMENT HERE? THEY ARE USUALLY PRETTY RESPONSIVE TO OUR QUESTIONS. I NEVER ASKED FOR BODY CAMERA FOOTAGE. ONE THING AGENDA DOWN I THOUGHT WAS INTERESTING FROM THE PANEL YOU PLAYED THE EXIT ON THAT WAS THE WRONG BY SHE IS SAID THIS AT THE PANEL THAT SHE WOULD CONSIDER LEASING BODY CAMERA FOOTAGE IF THERE WAS A PUBLIC OUTCRY AND I THINK SHE STATED FERGUSON AS AN EXAMPLE. THOSE KINDS OF PROTESTS JUST DON'T HAVE BEEN IN SAN DIEGO. I WONDER IF WHAT SHE IS DOING IS FIND -- IS FINE WITH HER. THE PUBLIC ISN'T SEEN ANYTHING AND I WOULD ARGUE THAT IT SHOULD NOT TAKE A RIOT TO GET PUBLIC INFORMATION RELEASE AND INFORMATION THAT IS IMPORTANT FOR THE PUBLIC TO EVALUATE. IT SHOULD NOT TAKE A RIOT FOR THAT TO A CORE IT SHOULD NOT TAKE -- TO OCCUR IT CANNOT TAKE COURT SANCTIONED ORDER. AND IF IT GOT THAT FAR BUT THEY DO UNDERSTAND THAT IS A CHOICE ON THE PROSECUTIONS PART THEY CAN CHOOSE TO SHOW THAT OR NOT JUST SITTING HERE GIVING THE TRIALS I'VE SEEN IT WOULD BE HARD TO IMAGINE THE FOOTAGE WOULD BE PLAYED WE WILL CERTAINLY LOOK TO SEE ON THE TRANSPARENCY HOW THIS PLAYS OUT AND ESPECIALLY THE BODY CAMERAS. WE'RE GOING TO MOVE ON. FATAL CONFRONTATIONS BETWEEN POLICE OFFICERS AND MENTALLY ILL SUSPECTS HAVE BEEN FAMILIAR STORIES BUT THE TRUTH IS WE REALLY DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT THEM. WITNESSES SAY A MAN IS ACTING CRAZY AND OFFICERS ARRIVED AND THE SUSPECT A SHOT. HOW MANY SUCH SHOOTINGS ARE THERE IN THE US AND JUSTIFIED? LET'S START ON THE LOCAL CASE IN OCEANSIDE WE HAVE OCEANSIDE LIEUTENANT JOE YOUNG AND THIS IS COURTESY OF OUR PARTNER 10 NEWS DEMILLE SUBJECT BECAME AGITATED AND EVENTUALLY WENT TO A NEARBY VEHICLE THAT WAS PARKED AND RECEIVED A STICK FROM THE BACK OF THE TRUCK AND MADE THREATENING MOVES TOWARDS AT THE OFFICERS ON THE SCENE ALL RIGHT, SO WHAT DID HAPPEN? THIS WAS IN MAY OF 2012. A YOUNG MAN NAMED ELWOOD WHITE, HE HAD NEVER BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH A MENTAL ILLNESS BUT THERE WOULD SIGNS OF EARLY SCHIZOPHRENIA. HE TOLD HIS DAD HE WAS HEARING VOICES THREE WEEKS BEFORE HE WAS KILLED. HE HAD SOME SORT OF A BREAKDOWN THAT THEY AND WENT ON A BIT OF A VIOLENT RAMPAGE AND WAS THROWING ROCKS AND BOTTLES OF PEOPLE BUT CLEARLY SOMETHING WAS NOT RIGHT. POLICE WERE DISPATCHED TO A POSSIBLE 5150 WHICH IS A CALL FOR SOMEONE WHO IS MENTALLY ILL AND ACTING OUT SO WHEN THEY ARRIVED HE HAD -- A COUPLE OF MARINES HAD TRIED TO SUBDUE HIM. THIS WAS ON OCEANSIDE BOULEVARD. A COUPLE OF MARINES TRIED TO SUBDUE HIM AND HE HAD GRABBED A BROOM STICK FROM A MAINTENANCE TRUCK AND HIT ONE OF THEM AND BROKE THE HEAD OF THE BROOM OFF. WHEN POLICE ARRIVED HE WAS HOLDING THIS BROOMSTICK AND GRASPING IT CLOSE TO HIS CHEST AND WITHIN A COUPLE OF MINUTES HE HAD BEEN SHOT AND KILLED BY ONE OF THE SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES. HIS FAMILY FILED A LAWSUIT BECAUSE IT WAS SEEN AS JUSTIFIED THE FAMILY FILED A CIVIL LAWSUIT. THE OFFICER SAID HE WAS WIELDING IT LIKE THE SPIRIT AND HAD LUNGED TOWARDS ANOTHER OFFICER. ALL THE OTHER WITNESSES AND THE FORENSIC EVIDENCE SHOWED HE WAS GRASPING IT CLOSE LIKE THIS AND HAD NOT MADE A THREATENING MOVE. -- THE JURY FOUND AGAINST WHITE FAMILY? MOST OF THESE CASES DON'T MAKE IT TO TRIAL POLICE TEND TO WANT TO BELIEVE OFFICERS. THE JURY LATE -- THE JURY ONLY DELIBERATED FOR AN HOUR THE KEY POINT THAT THIS CASE BROUGHT UP IS NOBODY REALLY KNOWS MUCH ABOUT SHOOTINGS BY POLICE. WE FOLLOW SO MANY THINGS IN OUR SOCIETY AND CULTURE AND DATABASES ON EVERYTHING BUT IT IS RATHER SURPRISING THAT WE DON'T FOLLOW THESE I SAT IN ON MOST OF THIS CASE AND FOUND IT INTERESTING AND WANTED TO WRITE ABOUT IT IN THE 1st THING I WANTED TO DO WAS GET STATISTICS ON PEOPLE WHO ARE MENTALLY ILL WHO ARE KILLED, IS THERE BREAKDOWN BY RACE, CAN THAT TELL US ANYTHING AND THAT DATA JUST DOES NOT EXIST. NO ONE TRACKS IT. THE BUREAU OF JUSTICE STATISTICS IS SUPPOSED TO THE POLICE DEPARTMENTS ARE NOT GOOD AT SENDING THEIR INFORMATION TO THE BUREAU OF JUSTICE SO -- STATISTICS AND NO ONE IS REQUIRING THIS CORRECT. THERE WAS A LAW THAT REQUIRED IT IT HAS -- IT HAD LAPSED AND IT'S IS NOW RENEWED IT IS A FEDERAL LAW YES. A FEDERAL LAW CALIFORNIA THERE IS A PUSH FOR DATABASES YES. BOTH OF THEM WOULD CREATE A PRETTY ROBUST AND REQUIRE A LOT OF DATA TO BE TURNED IN TO THE STATE DEPARTMENT. WAS THE PERSON MENTALLY ILL OR ARMED? DID THEY ATTEMPT LESS LETHAL FORCE? ONE OF THE BILL DID NOT MAKE IT OUT OF COMMITTEE ANOTHER ONE IS STILL ALIVE. HOPEFULLY US THAT GETS PASSED CALIFORNIA MIGHT BE A STATE WHERE IT COULD BE A MODEL THE WASHINGTON POST IS TRYING TO SEDIN -- STEP IN. THEY ARE TRYING TO TRACK THE SHOOTINGS. WHAT IS THAT NEWSPAPER DOING? EVERY TIME THEY HEAR ABOUT ANOTHER SHOOTING AND THEY MONITOR NEWS REPORTS, THEIR REPORTERS ARE OUT LOOKING FOR THESE CASES. THEY ADD THAT PERSON TO THEIR DATABASE AND YOU COULD REALLY GOING THERE AND KIND OF SELECT HOW MANY WERE MENTALLY ILL, ARMED, WHITE, BLACK, HISPANIC WHAT HAVE THEY FOUND? THAT IT WAS ABOUT A QUARTER OF THE PEOPLE KILLED WERE MENTALLY ILL BUT THE FEW PEOPLE I TALKED TO SAID THAT IS A REALLY LOW NUMBER AND IT IS MUCH HIGHER. AND I LOOKED AT THE BREAKDOWN A RACE AND FOUND THAT THE BLACK SUSPECTS WHO HAD BEEN SHOT -- SHOT AND KILLED WERE MORE LIKELY TO BE UNARMED THEN WHITE SUSPECTS LET'S TURN TO POLICE TRAINING. WHAT SORT OF TRAINING TO POLICE OFFICERS GET WHEN DEALING WITH MENTALLY ILL? NOT MUCH. THE POLICE EXECUTIVE RESEARCH FORUM PUT OUT A GREAT STUDY A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO WHERE THEY HAD SURVEYED LARGE POLICE DEPARTMENTS AND FOUND THAT TRAINING ON USING YOUR GUN AND USE OF FORCE WE APPEAR AND LOTS OF TRAINING ON HOW TO DE- ESCALATE A SITUATION -- IT WAS WAY DOWN LOW ON THE SURVEY. WE HAD AN INCIDENT OVER HERE IN MISSION VALLEY. A FELLOW WITH THE BOX CUTTER RUNNING AROUND -- AS WE SAID AT THE OUTSET THIS HAPPENS ALL THE TIME. OUR DEPARTMENTS RECOGNIZING THIS AND TRYING TO STEP UP TRAINING? ONE OF THE 1st STORIES I EVER DID WAS ON A MENTALLY ILL SUSPECT AND THERE WERE CALLS FOR BETTER TRAINING AFTER THAT. BUT NOT MUCH HAS CHANGED SO I DON'T KNOW. WE WILL SEE WE HAVE A SHORT TIME LEFT HERE. WHAT TO MENTAL HEALTH EXPERTS SAY NEED TO BE DONE TO MINIMIZE LETHAL FORCE ASSUMING THE MAN IS UNARMED DE-ESCALATION TACTICS, YOUR ONE PERSON GIVING A COMMAND IS SUPPOSED TO EVERYONE YELLING. US LESS LETHAL WEAPONS AVAILABLE AND YOU TRY THOSE 1st BEFORE THE GUN. THERE IS VERY CLEAR GUIDELINES ON WHAT SHOULD BE DONE SO IT BECOMES 2nd NATURE. THAT CAN CERTAINLY HELP THAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR MORE STORIES. THAT WRAPS UP ANOTHER WEEK OF STORIES. AND LIKE TO THANK MY GUEST DANA LITTLEFIELD OF THE TRIBUNE, LIAM DILLON THE VOICE OF SAN DIEGO AND FREELANCE REPORTER KELLY DAVIS. A REMINDER, ALL THE STORIES WE DISCUSSED TODAY ARE AVAILABLE ON OUR WEBSITE. KPBS.ORG. I AM MIKE SAUER. THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

To parole or not to parole?

In 1978, Jesus Cecena, a one-time gang member, was convicted of killing San Diego Police Department Officer Archie Buggs. Cecena was 17.

Before the passage of SB260, which makes it easier to parole inmates who committed crimes as juveniles, Cecena had several unsuccessful parole hearings. He was recommended for parole under the new law in April, 2014, but Gov. Jerry Brown rejected the recommendation.

Cecena is now 54, and his hearing on Aug. 28 will be personally attended by San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, who opposes his release, as does SDPD Chief of Police Shelley Zimmerman. Both Dumanis and the governor have said that Cecena’s refusal to admit firing the final shot that killed Buggs means he has yet to take full responsibility for the killing and is not ready to be released. His accomplice, Jose Arteaga, is due for his own parole hearing in the coming months.

California Proposition 47 was passed by voters in 2014 to ease prison overcrowding by reducing some sentences and and providing treatment options instead. San Diego DA Bonnie Dumanis opposed the proposition at the time. After it passed she said it did not apply to juveniles. This month a panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals said the law entitled juveniles and adults to reduced sentences.

SDPD — not so transparent

Zimmerman has been chief of SDPD for 18 months. In that time she has proven to be very good at not sharing.

Zimmerman has kept information on some important issues, including police-involved shootings, from the public. A recent instance concerns an April 2015 fatal police shooting of an unarmed man. The incident was captured on a building’s security camera. The city says the shooting was justified but refused to release the video until a court ordered it given to the victim’s family. Voice of San Diego, KPBS, 10News and the Union-Tribune have sued to get the video unsealed.

Other transparency issues have arisen recently. Zimmerman also refused to confirm that the department had cleared Carl DeMaio of sexual misconduct, defying the mayor’s pledge regarding records of city business.

She has indicated the SDPD would not disclose footage from officers' body cameras.

Finally, in March of this year the U.S. Department of Justice issued a scathing report on the SDPD's method of identifying and monitoring troubled officers. An internal audit followed up with recommendations for improvement, which were released to Voice of San Diego, almost entirely redacted.

Lethal force and the mentally ill

It seems unbelievable, but there is no good data on the use of lethal force by police in the United States.

This situation is exemplified by the 2012 shooting of Elwood Edwards White by Oceanside police. White was said to have attacked officers with a broken stick.

We have no idea how many people are shot and killed by the police each year, how many of those were mentally ill, how many were armed and with what, or what their ethnic make-up was.

A proposed bill in the California assembly requires all law enforcement agencies to report any shooting which kills or injures a civilian or officer, including information on gender, race, age, type of weapons and perceived mental disorders.

In the absence of official data, the Washington Post started tracking police shootings through media and public records. As of Aug. 23, the Post counted 626 killed by police. Roughly one-quarter of these deaths involved someone who was mentally ill.

Some experts and advocates say the big issue here is the perception of black mentally ill people as far more life-threatening than white.