Assemblyman Joe Coto (D-San Jose) isn’t happy with what he’s been reading about the SJPD in the news recently. Joined by Paul Fong (D-Cupertino), he is calling on State Auditor Elaine Howle to investigate San Jose’s police force.
Among his concerns—whether policemen are properly trained, and whether the department does enough when faced with complaints about the use of excessive force.
Coto’s decision surprised Mayor Chuck Reed. He says that the city’s Independent Committee to investigate the SJPD is doing precisely what Coto wants the auditor to do “and more.” Police Chief Rob Davis says that the SJPD is already reviewing its practices and learning about best practices and procedures from other communities across the state.
On the other hand, Coto and Fong are getting the support of both the Latino and Asian communities. The Silicon Valley Latino Democratic Forum says that “The statistics regarding the disproportionate number of arrests of Latinos are compelling and undeniable,” while Asian Americans for Community Involvement has expressed concern about how force was used in such recent cases as the arrest of Vietnamese student Phuong Ho last year.
One issue that might undermine the audit is its cost. While audits often investigate inefficient financial practices, the cost to the taxpayer is anywhere from $100,000 to $250,000 for about six months of work. The state will have to decide whether that is justifiable, given the current economic climate.
Read More at the Mercury News.