◼ Kalis arrest shines spotlight on DA's Brady policy; DA's office has written policy for dealing with officers with character issues
While most local officials -- like Chapman -- said they fully support the concept of the Brady ruling and Gallegos' policy, some also confessed to having a bit of anxiety about a policy that leaves a tremendous amount of power and discretion in the district attorney's hands.And this is WHY it matters who is in the DA's office.
Gallegos declined to disclose the names on his office's Brady list -- which is not public, with access limited even within the DA's office.Like Gallegos has such a sterling record in this regard. Not.
In Arcata, Chapman said he agrees with the DA's policy “100 percent,” noting that an officer's integrity and credibility should be “uncompromisable.” Chapman said the key to the policy, however, is that it be implemented fairly and appropriately when determining what is “material” evidence.
Similarly, Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Downey said he supports the policy but hopes it will be used judiciously.
”I heard the statement that (Gallegos) would rather err on the side of caution as to whether an officer is a Brady officer or not,” Downey said. “I do have some concerns about that. I want to make sure erring on the side of caution doesn't ruin someone's career by naming them a Brady officer when there's no cause to do so.”
Downey said he appreciates the protections Gallegos has put in place, but also has concerns that, in a small community like Humboldt, even raising a question of Brady issues surrounding an officer might be enough to harm an officer's career. However, Downey said, he's thoroughly reviewed the policy along with an attorney for the state sheriff's agency and supports it.
”We're in agreement that it's a good policy, as long as it's being adhered to,” he said.
In Eureka, Chief Garr Nielsen said he doesn't want the DA's office going on “fishing expeditions” looking for Brady issues with officers, but he said he doesn't have any issues with Gallegos' written policy.
Not directly related, but interesting:
◼ What changes have been implemented under four-plus years of new leadership at the Eureka Police Department