March 29, 2015

A new law in Utah mandates outside agencies investigate officer-involved shootings.

A new bill has just been signed into law dealing with officer-involved shootings in Utah.  House Bill 361 would mandate that outside agencies conduct the investigations.  It's designed to strengthen the transparency between police and citizens.  The big points include who investigates an officer-involved shooting and what happens to the officers after the incident.

Crime scene tape lined the area around the site of an officer-involved shooting near a 711 in Salt Lkae City earlier this month.

"They made contact with the male driver, and at some point, either they got him out of the car or he got out of the car, and he produced a firearm.  At least one of the officers shot the male," said Salt Lake City Police Sgt. Robyn Heiden.

After an officer-involved shooting, multiple investigations begin.

"All of our officer-involved shootings need to be investigated by an outside agency," said Utah Fraternal Order of Police Spokesperson Ian Adams.

That's why Utah Fraternal Order of Police Spokesperson Ian Adams pushed for this bill.

House Bill 361 mandates that an outside agency will investigate if criminal activity occurred on the behalf of the officers. That outside agency will determine if the shooting was justified or not.

"The law doesn't say this agency will investigate this agency because what if both agencies were involved in the shooting? So it leaves it up to the district attorney or the county attorney to work with the chiefs of the different departments that were involved," said Adams.

The Salt Lake Police Department will conduct an internal investigation into what happened on this day in March see if the officers followed department policy and standards.  So in this case, the criminal investigation is done by the salt lake county district attorney's office.  

1 comment:

  1. Wow a common sense law proposed. i guess it will be normally voted down and forgotten about. Letting the government investigate itself is lunacy. Hmmmm Am I guilty? NO!!!