The Swarm

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November 1, 2012
Sacramento sheriff pledges openness on shootings by deputies

One of the major unknowns about new reviews of shootings involving Sacramento County sheriff's deputies is how much the public will be told about the findings.

Sheriff Scott Jones says he intends to disclose as much as possible, including general information about the suspects and the deputies and the basic facts of each case. He said his goal is greater awareness and scrutiny.

"Whatever the final report does look like, it will be in keeping with my commitment to transparency and accountability, while still maintaining legal protections and encouraging candid discourse in our debriefings," Jones said in an email this morning.

So far this year, sheriff's deputies have shot 11 suspects, killing eight of them. As The Bee's Kim Minugh reported Sunday, that's double the recent annual average and already more than the previous high of nine of 2006.

The final details are being worked out on the reviews, which would be in addition to internal investigations to determine whether deputies violated any laws or department policies

The more intensive reviews were proposed by county Inspector General Lee Dean. The primary goal is to flag any flaws in training or equipment or any other issues so that the right lessons are learned to avoid future shootings.

On Wednesday, The Bee's editorial board urged officials to make as much information as public as possible. The board also said that while the new review is welcome, it's still no substitute for investigations by District Attorney Jan Scully's office, which she chose to curtail last year after her budget was cut by county supervisors.

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About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

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