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SPD Refuses to Release Names of Shooters in Recent Officer Involved Killings
On June 10, the Salinas Police Department and the City of Salinas, in a letter from the City Attorney, denied Freedom of Information Act requests from six local corporate news agencies seeking the names of the shooters in the recent officer involved killings of Carlos Mejia, Osman Hernandez, and Angel Ruiz that occurred on May 20, May 9, and March 20 respectively. The SPD is claiming the officers' safety would be at risk if they were to name them publicly. The SPD also refused to release any information as to whether the officers involved in the May 9 and May 20 shootings had been involved in any previous shootings.
The media requests included a request for the names of all the officers who have shot people in the last five years. According to the department, there were no officer involved shootings between 2009 and the end of 2011.
The SPD did release some information on officer involved shootings that occurred in Salinas between 2012 and 2013:
September 28, 2012 - Richard Chacon Jr. was killed by Salinas police officers Robert Zuniga and Mas Yoneda.
September 13, 2013 - A woman was wounded by Salinas police officer Jeff Alford, who shot her on East Market Street.
July 26, 2013 - Juan Luis Acuna was killed on Kern Street in Salinas by nine officers from several agencies, which included seven Salinas police officers, a Monterey County sheriff's deputy, and a California Highway Patrol officer. The SPD refused to release the names of any of the officers involved in this killing.
"In the past two years, six people have been shot by Salinas Police Department officers. One was a woman, and she was the only one who survived. Her name is Charlene Hale."
"She was shot by Officer Jeff Alford on Sept. 13, 2013 outside City Suds Laundromat on the corner of East Market and Pajaro streets."