Open Letter to the DOJ about Police Brutality

Tiny - Posted on 18 February 2014

Vivian Thorp, PNN Correspondent

February 12, 2014

State of California, Department of Justice
Office of the Attorney General, Kamala D. Harris
Attn: Public Inquiry Unit
P.O. Box 944255
Sacramento, CA 94244-2550

To Attorney General Kamala D. Harris:

 As a California resident who has lived here my entire life and as a Legal Advocate who works with mentally ill communities in California, I am writing you this letter in regard to the recent mass influx of police brutality that continues to be committed against our citizens, children and communities throughout California in near-epidemic proportions. Police brutality is rapidly increasing each day, where unnecessary brute force by sworn-in, P.O.S.T. law-enforcement officers/peace officers is being against our citizens, children and communities.

Most importantly, police brutality is being used against our citizens, children and community members who have either mental illness or are having a mental crisis at the time of incident, where in most instances has lead to inexcusable death committed by a law enforcement officer. This includes but not limited to incidents with citizens, children and community members who were unarmed or posed no real threat at the time of incident, being wrongfully harmed by improperly trained law-enforcement officers, who either lack and/or have no education, training or experience dealing with citizens who have mental illness and/or a mental crisis.

It is clearly imperative at this point that you Attorney General Kamala D. Harris and The Department of Justice of the State of California implement legislation that would establish an independent, non-law enforcement involved review board specific to this issue, mandating that all law enforcement agencies in the State of California who are involved in such acts of police brutality, be subjugated to a full investigation by this board on each individual case when a citizen has been wrongfully either verbally and/or physically brutalized, abused and/or killed by any P.O.S.T. law enforcement officers from any law-enforcement agency in the State of California (ie: Highway Patrol, County Sheriff’s Department, Municipal Police Department, Transportation Law-Enforcement agencies/BART Police; with several agencies listed here, but not limited to).

Not only should a full investigation be conducted in regard to each specific case in the instance where law-enforcement officers have inflicted severe physical harm to a citizen, leading to either injury and/or death, but that full judicial due process be mandated through legislative law and policy which would hold any of the law-enforcement agencies involved, who have committed such wrongful acts of police brutality fully accountable monetarily to those affected by such egregious acts of terror and violence upon citizens in compensation for incurred costs (medical bills, financial hardship, funeral costs, etc.).



In addition to this legislative law, it would be required that all involved P.O.S.T. law enforcement officers and/or law enforcement agencies in the State of California be held fully liable and accountable for their wrongful conduct and acts of violence, being tried with due process in criminal court and that those affected by such (ie: victims, affected family members, impacted community members, etc.) have the option of filing criminal charges against any law-enforcement agency and/or the law-enforcement officers involved in the wrongful act of police brutality. This would also pertain to any instance during the time of investigation on an open case/matter that any law enforcement officers involved in such an incident of police brutality to not be awarded with ‘paid leave of absence’, including being prohibited from active duty/serving the community.

At a time when this trend of police brutality is on the rise with the rapid increase of wrongful death incidents of unarmed citizens and children in California, it is also critically imperative that the Law Enforcement Officer’s Bill of Rights in California be extensively reviewed by an independent citizen-based/non-law enforcement review board in an effort to implement up-dated, just and fair amendments to this bill with legislation that would protect citizens from acts of police terror/violence being committed upon them by law-enforcement agencies and/or officers in the State of California. It is time that we here in California begin this process, so that the inexcusable act of police brutality and violence will stop in our communities. As a former victim of police brutality myself, due to wrongful identity by a law enforcement officer, I thank you for your time in reading my letter.


Vivian Thorp 


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