Municipal Resource: Independent Use of Force Investigators

The Oscar Grant Committee is pleased to present this list of independent investigators that are available to contract with municipal entities to perform investigations into use of force incidents ending in death or grave bodily injury.

Our intent in providing this list is to be of service to two different parties. Firstly, the families and loved ones of persons injured or killed in use of force incidents in Northern California who seek the truth about what happened from an objective and qualified investigator without ties to the department and office involved in the incident.

Secondly, we seek to serve municipalities to enable them to perform these much-needed independent investigations in a viable manner, especially if there is currently no law enforcement civilian oversight body in place in the municipality.

A few additional pieces of information:

  1. Neither our advocacy group nor any family/friends involved in a use of force incident has had any direct contact with any of the individuals on this list. In the preparation of this list, OGC asked only for the presentation of professional qualifications and availability for municipal contracts in this region.
  2. The investigators are presented in alphabetical order. We expect municipalities to interview, check references and engage in appropriate due diligence as with any other municipal contract. We hope that friend and family groups would also have a role in selecting the right individual because the independent investigator process should involve comfort on the part of all parties, both the municipality and loved ones impacted by a serious use of force incident.
  3. All of the individuals on the list are a part of the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE) community.

The National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement elevates and advances high professional and ethical standards for and promotes the independence and authority of all entities charged with civilian oversight.

While we understand that a list prepared by an advocacy group is likely to meet with some suspicion, we want to be clear that this effort is intended to assist and support individuals impacted by use of force incidents in a search for truth. As activists, we believe the record shows that law enforcement agencies are not best situated to investigate themselves and internal affairs processes often need and benefit from parallel independent efforts. We do not believe this should be threatening to law enforcement or municipalities, but should be welcomed as a check and balance and transparency measure.