Monterey County

Salinas Police address 'frequently asked questions' on officer-involved shootings

Comes as community demands answers

SALINAS, Calif. - In the wake of community backlash over two officer-involved shootings this month, The Salinas Police Department is answering "frequently asked questions" in an article on their website. The questions are also available in Spanish.

The page also includes a PDF of the department's policy regarding the use of force.

The page addresses allegations of racial profiling and details questions about specific actions taken by police during the shootings.  There's also a section titled "why should I believe you?"

Police made clear the investigations are far from over. "Please note that while the investigation goes on, we can't speculate about conclusions," the article says.  "But we can offer information based on the evidence we have and based on police policies."

The first happened in the parking lot of Mi Pueblo in east Salinas May 9th.  Officers say 26-year old Osman Hernandez was waving a knife around and threatening customers.  Officers shot and killed him when, they say, he tried coming after them with a knife after they used a stun gun on him.

Then on May 20th, officers shot and killed a man they say wasn't complying with their requests to drop a large pair of gardening shears as they responded to reports that he tried breaking into a woman's home.  Cell phone video, which captured part of the incident, went viral and sparked protests that got out of control Wednesday night and garnered national media attention.

Police say they will add questions and update their answers to the frequently asked questions as the investigation moves forward.

So far this year, Salinas Police have shot and killed three suspects.  The department has reported it averages one such shooting a year.

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