As your District Attorney, I have few more important duties than to determine if a peace officer has lawfully used his or her power in the line of duty that injured or ended someone’s life. If used properly, that power may literally be a life-saving act for innocent members of our community and the men and women who are sworn to protect us. If used outside of the law, it is both a terrible crime and a breach of trust with our community which can erode the rule of law.
It is vital that there be an effective check on the state-sanctioned power to end someone’s life. It is vital to make sure that the “police are policed” and that the relatively and thankfully small numbers of fatal police encounters meet the strict requirements of the law. If not, they will be prosecuted and charged as would anyone else using criminal violence against our community.
Every OII is a tragedy, no matter what the scenario. The residents of Santa Clara County deserve law enforcement agencies that use their ultimate power within the law. They also deserve a DA’s Office that is ever vigilant that they do. I swear that I will uphold this vital duty carefully, comprehensively, independently, and fairly for all.
Jeffrey F. Rosen