Police Auditor: More SJPD Officers Disciplined Despite Fewer Citizen Complaints

Though fewer people have been filing complaints against San Jose cops, a greater share of those cases resulted in officer discipline.

That’s according to the latest annual report from the city’s civilian police monitor, which found that citizen complaints fell by 38 percent from 357 in 2013 to 222 in 2017. The office of the Independent Police Auditor agreed with the conclusion of SJPD’s internal affairs in 83 percent of cases overall and 73 percent in cases alleging excessive force.

But the rollout of body cameras has coincided with a rise in sustained findings to 16 percent of all claims—the highest rate since the city founded the office 25 years ago. In the past five years, SJPD disciplined officers in 145 cases of misconduct with penalties ranging from additional training and counseling to suspension and termination.

Source: San Jose Independent Police Auditor 2017 Year-End Report

Also in 2017: complaints about use-of-force fell and SJPD sustained a complaint about bias for the second time in the agency’s history. There were eight officer shootings last year, up from five in 2016 but down from a high of 12 the year before that. Of the shootings in 2017, half were fatal and five involved a person of color.

The year-in-review authored by Independent Police Auditor Aaron Zisser comes up for discussion after 6pm at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. It’s the inaugural report for the new IPA, who came to the job last fall after a 12-year run as a civil rights attorney.

The 143-page document spans 15 chapters that cover topics such as use-of-force, psychiatric intervention and biased policing and concludes with 10 recommendations. Zisser places particular emphasis on police interactions with mentally ill people and the need for more resources to investigate domestic violence and sexual assault.

SJPD lost an outside $900,000 grant, which took a toll on its already short-staffed Family Violence Unit. Just two officers and one sergeant investigated upward of 3,300 domestic violence cases from 2016 to last year, according to the auditor’s report. Most of those cases involved felonies.

Domestic violence reporting rates are up, three of the 28 homicides from 2016 to 2017 involved domestic violence and 10 percent of citizen complaints arose from domestic violence incidents last year, Zisser found.

“Nonetheless, SJPD reported recently its need to cut back some of its proactive policing efforts to combat domestic violence and support services offered to survivors,” he writes.

San Jose has also seen a significant jump in reported rapes, from 451 in 2016 to 571 last year—double the number from 2012, according to the IPA report. Some other violent crimes have increased, too, but at nowhere near the same rate.

SJPD has requested additional civilian staff for its family violence unit to help keep up with the caseload. The IPA report urges SJPD to add sworn staff as well.

Source: San Jose Independent Police Auditor

Three of Zisser’s recommendations involve SJPD’s response to people who suffer from mental health problems.

One asks SJPD to transport people in the throes of a psychiatric breakdown to the hospital instead of jail, even if there’s enough ground to accuse them of resisting arrest.

Another recommendation encourages SJPD to have officers undergo refresher courses in crisis intervention. The third directs SJPD to offer people they encounter in the field with a list of mental health agencies and resources.

In 2017, San Jose police fielded 4,182 calls for service that required crisis intervention-trained officers to respond. Though SJPD has offered such training since 1998, Chief Eddie Garcia only made it mandatory for all officers since 2015. And a third of the force had yet to receive the training by the end of 2017, according to the IPA report.

The report also pointed to a racial disparity in police use of force. In a review of more than 100 cases from 2015 to 2017, officers were more likely to take white suspects to the hospital and their minority counterparts to jail in use-of-force cases when no charges are filed. White people were subject to 22 percent of all force incidents but comprised 37 percent of incidents that resulted in no charges.

Source: San Jose Independent Police Auditor 2017 Year-End Report

In his executive summary, Zisser lays out his approach to oversight.

“We routinely hear from community members: what is any of your work actually going to change?” he writes at the outset of the report. “For me, as the new IPA—I started in October 2017— this is the central question. Now helming an agency that is often criticized as being ‘toothless’ to accomplish any real change, I have a background—as a former U.S. Department of Justice civil rights attorney—that had allowed me to apply enormous resources, access, and authority to ensure broad-based systemic reforms in response to constitutional concerns.”

San Jose’s police department may not be an agency in constitutional crisis, Zisser acknowledges, but there’s always room to improve.

“That means tough, uncomfortable, honest conversations with SJPD officials, city leaders, and community members,” he writes. “It means showing up at SJPD’s worst moments, while trying to acknowledge SJPD’s progress and successes.”

Mayor Sam Liccardo suggests expanding the IPA’s authority by asking voters to amend the city charter. Currently, the IPA is limited to investigating citizen complaints and auditing internal affairs cases.

In a memo to fellow council colleagues, the mayor suggests striking up negotiations with the police union to better understand their positions on allowing the IPA to review all officer-involved shootings and uses of force, all department-initiated investigations and all arrests and force incidents by the city’s park rangers.

Zisser also proposes a number of changes to his role, including enabling the office to help draft SJPD policies and allowing it to review officer-involved shootings and other critical incidents that haven’t been the subject of a citizen complaint.

More from the San Jose City Council agenda for May 22, 2018:

  • Chief Garcia will also present a review of complaints initiated from within the ranks. His report shows that SJPD saw 35 internal complaints involving 99 misconduct allegations against sworn officers, which is down from a high of 43 complaints and 58 allegations in 2016. Last year, 60 percent of allegations investigated by internal affairs were validated.
  • The council will decide whether to authorize a survey to get a sense of whether voters would approve a bond measure on the fall ballot to help chip away at a $1.4 billion backlog of infrastructure repairs. San Jose hasn’t asked voters to approve a bond in 15 years.

WHAT: City Council meets
WHEN: 1:30pm Tuesday (6pm for discussion on IPA report)
WHERE: City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
INFO: City Clerk, 408.535.1260

Jennifer Wadsworth is the former news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.


  1. Former IPA Walter Katz helped Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, Co.Santa Clara, Sheriff, San Jose, SJPD, state and inferiors churn frauds, in collusion with Wells Fargo, so I’m 66 and stuck in San Jose, instead of Santa Cruz, and there’s a fatwa, and IT’S RAMADAN.

    So enjoy. IF you are a part of the perp, like Filipino bangers might be, since there’s board and care gouging and burglary, DO NOT DISRESPECT ISLAM to me, while telling me I don’t have a defensive fatwa, reaching back to the Lennon killing, so Santa Fe, Texas goes off, PLEASE.

    THANK YOU. USPO Joe Martinez called me in for more urinalysis, re Mueller-abetted fraud CR98–0087, since I burned one, and already, Scott Dyleski whacked Mrs.Horowitz, attorney Daniel’s wife, but since Hadj knows I aspire to material witness, AND I am where AC-DC through ZZ Top ripped from a red Gibson MM1 with white pick-guard, and all, we have trends, ALL THE WAY, from Santana Row fire 2002, through the Brock Turner case, and HE’S HADJ, with Jose Garcia-Zarate AND A.J. Gonzalez, on trial, NOW, in Co.Santa Cruz, for murder of Mady Middleton, then 11.

    It seems the girls won’t watch A Song of Ice and Fire in its original spirit or something, re lizard bikinis and fire-proof blondes and such being absurd and for conjecture about Dana Perino or Bash, on TV.

    A.J. Gonzalez is looking like DANNY, a sleaze I met in SF. Hadj knows ME, thank you very much.

    Do you know GAME OF THRONES? Who has, gets.

    • So then, AARON ZISSER enters the game, when I complain about Katz working me, for Wells Fargo, holding and hitting with a hidden warrant, for C1634718 ex 1368 PC, so that 6’6″ IDP attorney Thompson Sharkey handed me this battery report by SJPD Black and Enterline re March 2, 2016, when they all knew I was in Mtn.View, but I don’t see the report until September 2016, when ESL Dr.Jack Yen ranted a load and said I mentioned ‘Al Qaeda,’ in a vast ramble, of falsehoods by an idiot.

      In fact, after Sharkey swatted me with Wells Fargo and D61 Stephen Manley, we were on our way, to STEPHEN Paddock shooting up Vegas, as SJPD let two days of rundowns at me in September 2017, so Mandalay Bay got the Sharia, from I.S.

      This wound down, to several related attacks AND Parkland, through Austin Chief Brian MANLEY announcing demise of bomber Conditt, and one, always about to pop, since you don’t discover.

      You don’t report, you don’t investigate, and YOU ARE ATTORNEY AARON ZISSER, who is fronting for fraud by D61 FD SCCo.Super.Ct., steaming up the world with such fraud, as I.S. straddled EACH ILLEGAL CONTINUANCE BY MANLEY’S COURT, until I was released, and then, Aaron Zisser waited until SJPD neglected the rundowns, to get many killed, and Aaron Zisser banned me from IPA contact, so the Tweets I just sent him can get piggy with SJPD.

      Zisser kept suppressing Katz’ misconduct, which means I should get a Calbar complaint in there, now or maybe tomorrow, before 6 pm, to announce to SJ City Council, for Zisser’s rant, then.

      Zisser also suppressed City Council swatted me, in December 2017, to lead into Sheriff/SCCo. cruisers blowing me off for burglary in progress, 2/13/18, and I got online to warn.

      Not enough. Broward gets it, EVERY YEAR, now, over SJPD letting Broward native Gabriel batter his g.f. Michelle Terrell, to leave her in Kaiser, March 2, 2016, when I’d just been jumped by the entire house at 98 N.5th St., a Sabankaya slum, like the Riviera, another Sabankaya operation, while Ali Sabankaya issued a statement saying I was evicted, without notice, but I was charged, with assault.

      Zisser is working with these Turkish organized criminals, who are bad Muslims, and so, death by Sharia is quite natural, and more is always waiting, for people to do their anti-Islam dirt, like in month nine of hijrah, May 15 – June 14, so THIS IS RAMADAN.

      BEHAVE, TOMORROW, AARON ZISSER AND SJPD, due to get purged, a lot more than Zisser does this, to deflect from IA/SJPD corruption, which is universal, all the way up through Eddie Garcia.

  2. If it’s true that IPA Office costs taxpayers over $1,000,000 a year, then that Office needs to be severely curtailed.

  3. How many officers per population person I never see officers anymore it seems like they went high tech and do policing of social media I think They should show them selv s more there the only ones we got to protect us unless we fight crime and work too the citizens are police officers too that to much work on us . They need to develop more to population growth

  4. I was met at the 2d Floor main entrance to City Council chambers, at 4:30 pm, by three SJPD officers. All stepped forward, as the lead, white, bald, about 5’11”, resembling my nephew told me I was prohibited from BOTH sessions and the IPA review.

    The lead officer told me there were un-named ‘issues,” with IPA/SJ.

    Let’s start with Ladoris Cordell is trying to keep on top of BOTH the discovery cheating AND IPA interference, to deflect from statewide but intense San Jose corruption, now directed to injure me, Judge Persky, and a class.

    SJPD is a world-class nuisance, thanks to the blanket corruption in Ladoris Cordell’s area, Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, IPA/SJ, anything not under scrutiny, in collusion, at 152 N.3rd St., San Jose, or anywhere else non-law supports profiteering on churning, by CRAMMING, of disservice punks, onto my Wells Fargo SNT or agents, onto a fraud, to enable Wells Fargo to evade FAST, elder abuse charges, and US investigation.

    But Gov. Jerry Brown and A/G Becerra are too corrupt, to get in here and clean up.

    Hope you like work, on your fellow councilmembers’ ETHICS, future councilmember Fleming.

    The banning of my posts by BANG, at this time is directed to abet the bad-faith recall, of Judge Persky, while I am sure a Gaebler-fatwa adjustment by MUJAHIDIN is imminent, in the name of tonight’s brazen SJPD corruption, as Ladoris Cordell fudges on all sides of this, and Judge Persky has NO CHANCE, without a lawsuit, to recover, given need for relief discovery is already suppressed, during the bannings I face, while I am due expungement, for 19 years, Nik Cruz’ age.

    Nicholas Shearer is my cousin, who resembles the SJPD crook who told me I am banned.

    SJPD is deflecting for Wells Fargo, SO WITH A MILLION, CHOKED OUT, FROM THE ROBERT S. GAEBLER SNT, Lani Dalrymple of SNT Seattle prevents an SUV, such as the Hyundai Santa Fe, same name as the last school-shooting by a Mujahid, a HADJING.

    Another gonna, maybe tonight or tomorrow morning, from the deadly guilt of SJPD, tonight at City Council Chambers, 2d floor Main Entrance.

    I SEE DEAD PEOPLE. Like I did before Parkland or Sante Fe. FOR SURE, by five days.

    Will call when the thing drops! FBI Online Crime Tip, to follow.

  5. As with the FBI, expanding the authority of lawyers within a law enforcement organization is like intentionally placing a deadly virus in the ventilation system.

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