Fresno Police auditor report to be made public
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Fresno Police Auditor's report will be made public and may be used as evidence in a civil rights suit.
We don't know what it says, but the fact the city administration has refused to make it public for months has raised speculation it contains something significant. If that is the case and if the judge allows it into evidence it could be used in against the city.
The lawsuit against the city of Fresno, police Chief Jerry Dyer and Sgt. Mike Palomino alleges a lack of training, discipline and investigation lead to unnecessary police shootings. The incident involving the death of Steven Vargas prompted the case, but evidence in nine other shootings in which officers shot unarmed suspects is part of this case.
Attorney Arturo Gonzalez represents the Vargas family. He says the police auditors report could be a key. "Could be devastating, it depends on what it says obviously, but our part of our claim is these investigations are not taken seriously."
Gonzalez expects to see the report Friday. He says the court had a hard time getting a proper copy Thursday. "The judge ordered the former auditor (Eddie Aubrey), to produce a copy of the report he gave to the city manager, because, the city manager says he no longer has the email he originally received from the auditor that had the report attached to it and so the judge was reviewing a copy that was marked up and he wants one that is clean so hopefully will get one."
City Manager Mark Scott told the city council he will make the full unedited report public on Monday.
In other developments in court, an audio expert testified about the recording of a cell phone call made to 9-1-1 by a witness at the scene of the Vargas shooting. He noted the recording, which started as Sgt. Palomino arrived at the scene, disputes his claim that bystanders warned him that Vargas had a gun.
Gonzalez told Action News, "You don't hear it you don't hear anybody saying gun in that tape."
Vargas was not armed, but Palomino claims he fired 11 shots at him because he thought he was reaching for a gun.
Other testimony came from retired Los Angeles County Sheriff's Lieutenant Roger Clark who said the Fresno Police Departments repeated shootings of fleeing and unarmed suspects violates basic police tactics and training.
Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer is expected to take the stand Friday. The attorney for the city is not commenting on the case during the trial.
officer involved shooting, fresno, fresno county, fresno police department, jerry dyer, court, local, gene haagenson
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