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Press Release Regarding July 5, 2019 Fullerton PD OIS

On Friday, July 5, 2019 at approximately 7:03 PM, a Fullerton Police Officer was involved in an Officer Involved Shooting (OIS) on the 91 freeway at Kraemer in the City of Anaheim that resulted in the death of a 17-year-old female. At the time of the OIS, the 17-year-old female was in possession of a replica handgun designed to look identical to a Berretta 92 FS handgun.

Because this OIS occurred in the City of Anaheim, the Anaheim Police Department is investigating the actions of the deceased leading up to the OIS, which is standard practice for any law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction where an OIS occurs. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office is conducting an independent investigation into our officer’s actions to determine if his use of deadly force was reasonable and justified, which is also standard practice, and this follows established protocols in Orange County. The Fullerton Police Department is conducting an investigation to determine if our officer followed Fullerton PD’s policies and procedures leading up to and including the use of deadly force. 

All of the aforementioned investigations take time to complete. Fullerton Police Officers wear body worn cameras (BWC) as a standard practice, and they have done so since 2013. The officer involved in this particular OIS was wearing his BWC, which captured the OIS as it occurred. The BWC footage, independent witness interviews, physical evidence, and an interview of the officer, will all be taken into account in the independent investigations. 

The Fullerton Police Department is committed to transparency and accountability to the community that we serve.

FPD was the first police agency in Orange County to equip its officers with BWC’s. FPD was also the first Orange County Police Department to release a Critical Incident Community Briefing in March 2019, after an in-custody death that occurred in February 2019, which can found at https://youtu.be/s0bjv9-O9P4.

Effective July 1, 2019, California State Assembly Bill 748 requires any law enforcement agency involved in a “critical incident” such an OIS or “use of force causing great bodily injury or death” to release any relevant video or audio footage within 45 days of the incident. In the coming days, the Fullerton Police Department will be releasing our second Critical Incident Community Briefing, explaining what occurred during the OIS on July 5, 2019. It will include relevant BWC footage, photos, and a description of what occurred leading up to the OIS. These briefings take time to complete, and they must take into account the investigative process to ensure that potential witnesses, and those involved in the incident who may not yet have been interviewed, are not adversely affected by the information released and that the information they provide is based on their independent recollections. There is a balance that must be struck between the release of information and the need to keep the public informed. This is a balance that we respect, and must maintain, in order to complete thorough, thoughtful, and diligent investigations.

While AB 748 allows for 45 days to release relevant BWC footage and audio relating to the incident, we will be releasing this information roughly one week after the incident. Every incident is different, and the time it takes for us to release information will be different for each incident depending on the number of officers and witnesses involved, the overall complexity of the case, and when all other agency interviews are completed. The Critical Incident Community Briefing regarding this OIS will be released directly to our media partners, and it will also be posted on our social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) simultaneously so the community has the opportunity to view it immediately. 

It is our hope that the coming Critical Incident Community Briefing will help answer the many questions our community has regarding this tragic incident. 

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