Public not told about deputy-involved shooting for 2 days
November 17, 2010 by OCCCWS Editor
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department did not disclose details to the public for more than two days of a deputy-involved shooting involving a teen suspected of stealing a truck, the Register has learned.
According to the department, a deputy shot at least twice at a 17-year-old who tried to run the deputy and his partner over with a stolen pickup truck. The deputies had tried to stop him after a short police pursuit early Saturday morning.
But it was not until Monday morning that the department even acknowledged to the press one of its deputies had been involved in a shooting.
Four Register reporters made repeated calls to the Sheriff’s Department watch commander over the weekend, but the shooting was never mentioned. “I just received details of the shooting,” said Sheriff’s Department spokesman Jim Amormino when asked about the delay in information.
Assistant Sheriff Mike James, who oversees the department’s patrol operations, said the department made all the proper notifications that night, including notifying the District Attorney’s Office and the Office of Independent Review of the shooting shortly after the incident.
The department has a protocol for releasing information to the media, including officer-involved shootings where someone is hit by gunfire, James said. But no one was shot in Saturday’s shooting, which meant it did not directly fall under the protocol.
James said he is looking into exactly why reporters were not told about the incident until Monday. There may have been some missteps in how the situation was handled, James said, but he made it clear that the department was not involved in any cover-up by not releasing the information.
Full story at OC Register