Officer-involved shooting investigations
- Involve outside agencies
- Ensure public confidence
- Fair to citizen and officer
To ensure integrity and renew public confidence, officer involved shooting and lethal non-shooting investigations must exceed legal standards and give meaning to the spirit behind the law. Police-citizen use of force encounters, especially when deadly force is used, are of paramount public concern. As the legislature found when the law was passed in 2015, the investigation of these incidents must be objective, thorough, and transparent to ensure public confidence in the outcome.
**Now more than ever, the District Attorney must ensure that everyone in the community has confidence and trust in the review and oversight of police conduct**
While 2020 legislation will lead to more transparency and accountability, I believe the community should expect more. I believe increased accountability will lead to a stronger police-community relationship. As such, I have set forth protocols which will give the community more information about all police use of force incidents in the jurisdiction. A few highlights of the policy are:
- Directive to all police agencies to use the true multi-agency approach of an expert, objective, and conflict-free Critical Incident Team (CIT) to investigate shootings.
- Directive that the police agency involved in the shooting never leads the investigation and takes a subordinate role if their participation is needed.
- Prioritizing use of force investigations within the DA’s Office for immediate review by a specialized internal prosecution team with strict timelines for progress.
- Reviewing media recordings with an eye towards release as soon as possible, after first giving the citizen – or the citizen’s family in fatal shootings – an opportunity to review the recordings with the District Attorney and investigative team.
- Reviewing officer use of force incidents where bodily injury is caused by the officer(s) without the use of a firearm, and either issuing justified use-of-force reports or submitting cases for possible excessive force-related charges, pursuant to §18-8-803, C.R.S.