Vallejo mayor wants attorney general to investigate Romero shooting death http://www.timesheraldonline.com/news/ci_2158...
Vallejo Mayor Osby Davis said Wednesday that he will seek an independent investigation into the recent controversial officer-involved shooting death of Mario Romero.
Davis said he will ask the City Council to request that Attorney Gen. Kamala Harris' office look into concerns raised since police officers killed Romero, 23, while he sat with another man in his car outside his North Vallejo home early Sept. 2.
Police contend that when officers approached Romero's car, he reached for a weapon that later turned out to be a pellet gun, and that is why they fired at him. Family members, however, have vehemently denied that he had such a weapon, or police assertions that he had 50 ecstasy tablets in his car.
The shooting, which also wounded the other man, has sparked an ongoing community debate, as well as several public protests and thousands of comments posted on social media sites, including the Times-Herald's.
"It must be understood," Davis said. "that this request should not be taken as an indication of a lack of confidence in the established Solano County Officer Involved Shooting Protocol, or any lack of confidence in the Vallejo Police Department or the ability of the District Attorney's office to conduct fair investigations.
"However, it is my belief that under the current circumstances a secondary review will help to establish trust in the process."
Family, chief response
Romero's sister, Cynquita Martin, told the Times-Herald that, "I'm very pleased" by Davis' move.
"I see this as a positive step for the City council and mayor to earn the trust back from the community, toward the victory and justice for Mario," Martin said. She said she will watch developments and "attend (City Council meetings) until justice is served."
The mayor also said he wants police officers and all patrol cars to be equipped with video cameras.
Vallejo Police Chief Joseph Kreins said that he welcomed an independent review if it will "restore or enhance the public's trust and the department's credibility."
"The more sets of eyes you can put on something is a good thing," Kreins told the Times-Herald.
Kreins added that he doubts that any attorney general's review will produce a different outcome than the D.A.'s office investigation.
"The (D.A's investigation process) has worked for many years and continues to work," Kreins said. "But when folks are suggesting that they don't have the confidence in that process, then I have no problem with an independent review."
City Manager Dan Keen said Kreins was informed in advance of the mayor's desire to seek an outside investigation.
"It was a decision that the mayor made but he did discuss it with he (Kreins) and I," Keen said.