Aram James: Questions for Palo Alto Police Regarding the Christmas Day Officer Involved Shooting Death

On December 25th, 2015, Palo Alto Police shot and killed a 31-yer-old man near or on the premises of a mental health hospital. The department has not shared critical information regarding the incident, but Palo Alto resident and civil rights advocate Aram James has submitted a series of questions to the department -- several requiring an answer within an alotted time due to requirements of a California Public Records Act request. Here are those questions.

(1) When will the PAPD release the names of the officers involved in this fatal shooting, pursuant to the California Public Records Act and California case law?

(2) Did dash cams capture the incident? And will the police release the footage to the public, or hide behind an exception to the CPRA to prevent public disclosure?

(3) Will this incident lead the PAPD to implement police worn body-cameras, along with a departmental policy requiring public disclosure of the footage obtained?

(4) Will the DA's investigation be truly thorough and independent, or simply a rubber stamp of the PAPD's findings?

(5) Given that the mental health facility where the shooting occurred, was 3 blocks from the police station, did the PAPD respond with members of their crisis intervention and mental health unit?

(6) Since all members of the PAPD are armed with tasers, and tasers are purportedly safe to use in just this type of deadly force situation, why weren't they used before the police discharged their guns?

(7) Did the police make any effort to retreat to a safe location before discharging their guns?

About Aram James

Aram James is a former public defender and is a co-founder of the Albert Cobarrubias Justice Project.

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This is a sad and shameful day in Palo Alto 's history

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