Officer Involved Incident FAQ

    OII stands for “Officer-Involved Incident.” It covers any incident in which an officer discharges a firearm and causes injury or death or uses any other type of force that seriously injures or kills the person they are trying to detain or arrest.  It also applies to a person who dies while in police custody.   ​

    The law doesn’t require that we review OIIs. The law proscribes the circumstances under which police officers may legally use deadly force, but it doesn’t require any particular level of oversight by DAs. The District Attorney and the Santa Clara County Police Chiefs’ Association have a longstanding agreement that requires the DA to officially review all OIIs.

    The law doesn’t require that we review OIIs. The law proscribes the circumstances under which police officers may legally use deadly force, but it doesn’t require any particular level of oversight by DAs. The District Attorney and the Santa Clara County Police Chiefs’ Association have a longstanding agreement that requires the DA to officially review all OIIs.

    Trust. State law does not require any sort of a communication with the public after OII decisions. Such DA decisions are communicated in many ways: press conferences, public letters to the LEAs, coroner’s inquests, etc. In the past, the Santa Clara County DA’s Office examined OIIs using a secret grand jury, a process which – by law – cannot be reported out to the public unless there is a charge. DA Rosen revamped the process with the belief that maximum transparency is the only way for the public to assess the validity and integrity of these vital cases and decisions​​.

    There are many laws that may come into play, depending on the circumstances. Simply put, the law​ allows for officers to use potentially deadly force if they reasonably believe that they or others are in imminent danger of death or great bodily injury.​​

    If the DA charges a LEA officer for their behavior during an OII, the Office will send out a news release with the criminal charges. The officer will be publicly charged and arraigned in open court like any other criminal defendant. DA Rosen believes that the public has the right to know if a member of a local LEA has broken the law and trust of the community. However, case evidence – including body-worn camera footage and other details – may not be released immediately in order to maintain the integrity of the criminal case.​​

    In cases in which a person has been killed, the DA always releases a complete report that presents the evidence and our analysis in making our decision. Every fatal OII report – accompanied by a news release​ - is sent out to the media and posted on our website. The DA’s Office does not give media interviews after a report is released but will clarify matters of fact.  In cases of non-fatal OIIs, the DA posts the report to our website.  ​

    The DA generally releases BWC camera footage that is highly relevant to our decision.​​​​

    Yes.  Non-fatal OIIs are reviewed in the same way as fatal OIIs.  These reports, however, are typically not released to the public.

    Yes. The DA personally communicates the decision to a designated member of the family and the officer’s department soon before the report is released.​

    There is no set time, but the DA's Office strives to have a review completed within 90 days after all investigative materials have been submitted for review.  However, it can take months to compile and review evidence, compile forensic and laboratory reports, consult with experts, and conduct follow-up investigation.

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