District Attorney's Office

Racial Justice Coalition Demands DA to ‘Prosecute or Resign'

The Racial Justice Coalition of San Diego is demanding San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan to prosecute police officers for shootings -- or step down.

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Family members of police shooting victims were among those gathered outside the Hall of Justice Downtown Friday morning to announce a new campaign "Prosecute or Resign."

They want District Attorney Summer Stephan to hold officers accountable for what they call abusive and illegal behaviors.

"We need to have accountability for these officers," said Maria Hoyt, aunt of police shooting victim Sergio Weick. "We cannot keep moving them around from police department to police department. It's costing a lot of lives."

The group insisted the DA reopen past cases and have them reevaluated by an independent commission.

Darwin Fishman used to be on the Community Review Board on Police Practices and said it was a well-known joke about the District Attorney's Office that regardless of what the review board decided, the officers would not be prosecuted.

"It's really critical to know that the system is not working here, there's not real civilian oversight and there's certainly no elected officials holding these officers accountable," Fishman said.

Friday's speakers cited a report from last year that showed in the last 25 years no police officer was prosecuted or served time for any police shooting in the county. More than 450 people were shot by law enforcement officers during that time period, according to the report.

However, the DA recently charged a now-former sheriff's deputy with second degree murder in a deadly shooting Downtown.

"Police officers are not above the law, and Summer Stephan knows that very well," said Blair Overstreet, member of RJCSD. "But the problem is that, though in theory that's not true, Summer Stephan makes it possible so that police are above the law. And, that is unacceptable."

A spokesperson for the District Attorney's Office sent this statement to NBC 7:

One of the most serious responsibilities the District Attorney’s Office has is reviewing officer-involved shootings and deaths that occur while someone is in the custody of police, when force is used. The loss of life in this context is always somber and leaves a serious impact on families and the public. Our office takes great care to make sure our analysis follows the law, is independent, objective and thorough. When the evidence and facts support criminal charges, we will file them, as we did recently against the former Sheriff’s deputy who is charged with murder.

The group concluded their briefing with a new music video titled 'You About to Lose Yo Job!'

Contact Us