Activist Demands Officers Involved in Shootings be Charged with Murder

STOCKTON -- Murder charges against officers involved in deadly shootings -- that’s what activist and former Stockton City Councilman Ralph Lee White is pushing for.

White also wants officers involved in deadly shootings to submit to drug tests.

Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones said they’re constantly reviewing different methods that might give them better transparency.

"If another black person, unarmed black person, or another black person is shot running away from the police, it’s going to be an all-out outbreak right here in Stockton,” White said.

White is also calling for Officer David Wells to not only be fired but to be charged with murder for the shooting death of Colby Friday.

"We might accept the manslaughter, but we want a murder right now because let’s call it what it is,” White said.

Investigators said Friday was a documented gang member and was armed when Wells confronted him behind Jamestown Plaza Shopping Center in August. Wells was disciplined for not turning on his body camera, but that’s not enough for White.

"I want to see police mens (sic) take a drug test after each time somebody’s killed,” he said.

Jones said his department is constantly working on how officer-involved shootings are investigated.

"Our current policy typically somebody is going to exhibit some sort of signs and symptoms of that, then we drug test,” Jones said.

White is also calling on the police department to recruit a more diverse group of officers.

"Stop hiring anybody else until they start hiring a certain amount of black people,” White said.

Jones said that’s top on his list, as well.

"One of our primary goals as we’re recruiting police officers is to better reflect our community,” he said.

White said these changes need to happen because he fears if there is another tragedy like Friday’s, there may be civil unrest.

"All policemens (sic) are not bad. It’s the bad ones that makes it bad for the good ones,” White said.

FOX40 reached out to the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office about White’s wishes, they have not replied.

White also shared a letter that he sent to the Department of Justice. He’s been trying to get their agency to investigate Stockton officer-involved shootings since 2014.