The City of San Leandro recognizes the public’s concern and desire for information regarding the status of various investigations associated with the Steven Taylor officer-involved shooting. The City takes these concerns very seriously. At the City Council’s direction, on June 5, 2020, the City requested an independent investigation from the California State Attorney General. On July 9th, the Attorney General responded with the following letter, respectfully declining the City’s request to conduct an additional investigation. The letter from the Attorney General was shared with a representative of the Taylor family prior to being released to the public.
The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office and the San Leandro Police Department’s Professional Standards Unit continue to conduct their own investigations into this incident. These investigations have not yet been finalized, and witnesses may still be subject to further questioning, with the circumstances still subject to evaluation.
In response to requests for the release of the officers’ names who were involved in incident, the City is acting, at this time, under California Penal Code Section 832.7(b)(5), which provides that the City may redact a record of an incident only for specific purposes. The purposes include to protect the personal information of the peace officers where there is a specific, articulable, and particularized reason to believe that disclosure of the record would pose a significant danger to the physical safety of the peace officer, or another person. Since the April 18, 2020 officer-involved shooting the City has received specific, articulable, and particularized threats of great bodily injury and death against the officers involved, their spouses, and their children.
California Penal Code Section 832.7(b)(7)(C), provides that the City may delay the disclosure of information until the City determines whether the use of force violated a law or City policy, but no longer than 180 days after April 18, 2020, or 30 days after the close of any criminal investigation related to the use of force, whichever is later. As noted above, the City awaits the results of the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office criminal investigation into the incident. The results will inform and ultimately will allow the City to complete its determination into whether the use of force violated law or City policy.
The City respects and appreciates the community’s desire for additional information and will continue to re-assess this determination on an ongoing basis as it relates to the public interest and the City’s obligation to consider the safety of the officers and their families. We appreciate the understanding of the San Leandro community.