URGENT ALERT! This case was TOSSED by the Judge - never made it to trial.
☛ ER http://eurekareporter.com/article/080826-judge-throws-out-douglas-zanotti-case
Feeney said the indictments the grand jury handed down to Douglas and Zanotti in December 2007 weren’t supported by probable cause. Insufficient evidence regarding the former leaders’ alleged failure to oversee other law enforcement was also presented to the grand jury, Feeney said, and instructions given on “exigent circumstances” were inadequate.
The grand jury should have also been instructed on justifiable homicide by law enforcement officials, Feeney said.
Original post: TS Police commanders' defense to file motion for dismissal
Gallegos called expert witness George Williams to testify during the proceedings. Williams, a police training specialist, called the case a “clear case of suicide by cop,” and went on to call the SWAT operation “extraordinarily” well handled.
In his concluding grand jury instructions, Gallegos tears apart Williams credentials as an expert, and essentially asks the grand jury to disregard the expert witness' testimony.
”This is a gentleman who has never been a police officer,” Gallegos told the jury. “He has never been a SWAT officer. He has never been in a supervisory role that we are aware of. He was never trained in SWAT tactics. Quite simply... his summary of qualifications though impressive as to particular things is lacking as it relates to the facts that he gave an opinion as to, and that is the appropriateness and the decision making of the supervisorial staff, Chief Douglas and Lt. Zanotti on April 14, 2006.”...
...”There in fact should be someone who is qualified,” Bragg said. “If (Gallegos) felt that fellow wasn't qualified, why didn't he bring in someone he did feel was qualified to discuss SWAT procedures so the grand jury could have had a better understanding?”
Declining to elaborate too much on the defense strategy, saying he wanted to try the case in the courtroom and not in the newspapers, Rapoport said Williams' testimony will also be the subject of a future motion to dismiss the case.
”The DA chooses his witness,” Rapoport said. “He obviously did in this case. ... That's something that again is going to be the subject of a legal motion in the future.”
...”You have bad law being argued to citizens by the chief law enforcement officer in the county [Gallegos], so citizens are bound to think he knows what he's talking about,” Rapoport said, adding that a variety “fundamental” and “esoteric” errors in Gallegos' interpretation of the law would be the subject of an upcoming motion to dismiss by the defendants.