Two men were killed and two men were seriously injured by law enforcement use of force in Santa Barbara County last year, according to a California Department of Justice report.
Law enforcement agencies “are only required to report use of force incidents that result in serious bodily injury or death of either the civilian or the officer and all incidents where there is a discharge of a firearm,” according to the Department of Justice report.
The report does not include details on the specific incidents, but there were two fatal officer-involved shootings in 2018, in Orcutt and in Santa Maria.
Three people were found dead in an Oakhill Estates home in Orcutt and the suspected killer, 43-year-old David McNabb, was fatally shot by Sheriff’s Department deputies on Dec. 28, 2018.
In Santa Maria, police officers shot and killed 27-year-old man Alejandro Valdez on Jan. 7, 2018, on East Mill Street. Valdez allegedly was suicidal and made threats while on the phone with police dispatchers and confronted responding officers with knives.
Jose Guido, 37, of Santa Barbara was fatally shot by Chumash Casino private security after an altercation last February, according to the Sheriff’s Department, but is not included in the DOJ report.
The District Attorney’s Office investigates all officer-involved shootings in the county and has not yet released reports concluding whether or not the shootings were justified.
The office has not yet received the investigation reports on the McNabb case from the Sheriff’s Department, District Attorney Joyce Dudley said.
Sheriff’s Lt. Erik Raney confirmed the Valdez investigation reports have already been sent to the DA’s Office, and the McNabb case report “will be sent within the next week.”
A deputy district attorney is currently investigating the Chumash Casino security shooting, Dudley noted.
The two use-of-force incidents with serious bodily injury include a Hispanic Santa Barbara man, between the ages of 18 and 25, and a white Santa Maria man, between the ages of 46 and 55, according to the report.
Santa Barbara Police Department also reported five incidents of serious bodily injury to officers.
In comparison to Santa Barbara County’s nine self-reported incidents of law enforcement use of force, San Luis Obispo County reported one incident and Ventura County agencies reported eight in 2018.
Statewide, there were 628 incidents — and 677 civilians involved — with use of force resulting in serious bodily injury or death, or the discharge of a firearm.
“Of the 677 civilians, 33.2 percent (225) were hit by the discharge of a firearm, 16.5 percent (112) and 12 percent (81) received force by other control hold/takedown tactics, and electronic control device (such as a Taser), respectively,” according to the report.
“Of the 677 civilians, 62.5 percent (423) were injured, 15.5 percent (105) were not injured, and 21.6 percent (146) died. Of the 677 civilians, officers perceived that 368 civilians were armed. Of the 677 civilians, 284 were confirmed to be armed.”