Justice Department releases report on 2022 Fontana police-involved shootings | News

On June 11, the California Department of Justice released a report into the police-involved shooting death of a Fontana man two years ago, concluding that criminal charges against the department’s officer Fontana Police Department was not appropriate in this case.

However, the Department of Justice “recognizes the important lessons to be learned from this incident” and has issued specific policy and practice recommendations for PD Fontana, according to a press release issued by California Attorney General Rob Bonta.

The incident, in which a suspect named Travis Tarrants was killed, was evaluated by the Department of Justice as part of its efforts to ensure transparency and accountability in law enforcement practices, consistent with to Assembly Bill 1506, Bonta said.

“The California Department of Justice remains steadfast in its commitment to working with all law enforcement partners to ensure an impartial, transparent and accountable legal system for every California resident,” Bonta said. “AB 1506 is a critical tool for transparency and accountability, and we hope this report provides some understanding and helps move us toward a safer California for everyone.” Loss of life is always a tragedy. We recognize that this incident has posed challenges for all parties involved, including Mr. Tarrants’ family, law enforcement and the community.

On April 7, 2022, Fontana Police officers responded to a bank after receiving multiple calls reporting that there was a man robbing the bank with a gun. Tarrants, a 45-year-old Indiana man, went to a nearby Wendy’s and was shot to death outside the restaurant after pointing a gun at police officers. The weapon was later found to be a modified airsoft weapon.

In his investigation, Bonta concluded that the evidence did not demonstrate, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the deputy involved acted without the intention of defending himself and others from what he reasonably believed to be death. imminent or serious bodily injury. There is therefore insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution against the MP. Therefore, no further action will be taken in this matter, Bonta said.

The Ministry of Justice released the following information in the press release:

“As part of its investigation, the DOJ has identified several policy recommendations that it believes will help prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. These recommendations include:


Although the FPD may have general orders, training, or practices that outline the responsibilities of the first officer or supervisor responding to the scene, the FPD should develop a formal policy that provides guidance on: (1) how an officer must establish command and control of a scene, (2) what command and control of the scene requires, (3) how and under what circumstances such command and control must be communicated to other officers at the scene , and (4) how and under what circumstances command and control can or should be transferred to a supervisor or other agent present on the scene.


It is recommended that the FPD revise its use of force de-escalation policy to require that de-escalation include a non-exhaustive list of specific de-escalation tactics and techniques that an officer may employ, when possible under the circumstances, notably :

• Verbal persuasion.

• Warnings and advice.

• Use of other resources, such as crisis response teams.

• Avoid comments or behaviors that may increase stress or tension in the environment.

• Once the policy is established, provide additional training to all staff on these policies.


The FPD should establish a specific policy regarding officer situational and positional awareness during repositioning and during an encounter, particularly during encounters with subjects suspected of being armed.


Given that the current FPD policy appears to contain conflicting provisions, it is recommended that the FPD review its policy to ensure that it does not contain inconsistent instructions and instead provide clear guidance to officers on the when they must activate their body cameras (BWC). The BWC policy should clearly define the circumstances, if any, under which officers may mute the audio or video of their BWC, and the policy should include an instruction that officers explicitly define any policy or order requiring them to mute the sound or video of their BWC before muting.


It is recommended that FPD ensure that the policies contained in its handbook are updated to include the most recent versions of the policies, and that it “conspicuously publish” the handbook on its website as required the law.