What is the District Attorney’s role in officer-involved use of force investigations?
The District Attorney is responsible for prosecution of violations of California laws. Therefore, the District Attorney has the authority and responsibility to make criminal charging decisions in officerinvolved incidents. In Sacramento County, when an officer shoots an individual causing injury or death, or when an officer uses force resulting in the death of a person in custody or under control of law enforcement, the District Attorney’s Office conducts an independent review to determine whether the officer should be charged with a criminal offense. Experienced Criminal Investigators employed by the District Attorney parallel the investigation conducted by law enforcement. By agreement, they are afforded contemporaneous access to witness interviews, the shooting/use of force scene, and the evidence documentation and collection. The District Attorney’s role thereafter is to assess whether any applicable crimes have occurred and then analyze whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed with a criminal prosecution