San Diego to dismiss 22 cases taking too long to investigate

By Ray Downs  |  Nov. 14, 2017 at 10:33 PM
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Nov. 14 (UPI) -- A citizens review board in San Diego said Tuesday it plans to dismiss 22 investigations of civilian deaths involving law enforcement because they are taking too long to investigate.

The deaths occurred while the subjects were either in San Diego County jails or involved in interactions with San Diego police. The panel said California's Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act requires that any investigation into police misconduct must be completed within one year or dismissed -- to protect officer rights and keep any one case from lingering over their head for too long.

Each of the 22 cases have passed the one-year limit, with some going back to 2011.

San Diego County spokeswoman Alex Bell said they have already undergone a criminal investigation by police.

"In addition, all in-custody deaths are reviewed by the sheriff's Critical Incident Review Board," she told the Union-Tribune.

A citizens review panel adds an additional layer of scrutiny untied to police that can result in punitive measures and policy recommendations.

Sherrie Hubble's suicidal son was shot dead by deputies in 2015 after they saw him carrying a screwdriver. Hubble told the San Diego Union-Tribune that it was a "bad idea" to end the investigation into her son's death prematurely.

"Everybody should have the honor of having their case investigated by a citizens review board," she said. "There are things they might look at that the detectives didn't want to bother looking at."

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