SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — To combat uses of force the city of Sacramento never wants to see again, the city has hired a role it’s never had before.
“My job is to investigate the police-involved shootings, the serious use of force and death in custody,” said Sacramento’s first inspector general, Dwight White.
The Chicago native is trained as an investigator, but he is not a police officer.
In his new role, part of the Office of Public Safety and Accountability, White will investigate incidents independent of police, accessing the same scenes and information.
While the internal police investigation is typically private, White’s investigation would be public.
“This job was within law enforcement. Now, to have another piece of it do their own investigation, that isn’t biased or doesn’t have the same biases a law enforcement officer would have, I think is extremely valuable,” White explained.
White’s findings are just that, findings. The city manager will still decide what, if any, action to take against the police involved.
This is the first time the city manager will have reports from the police and an independent public investigation to consider.
White previously did similar work in Chicago as a civilian investigating serious police offenses. He recognizes that he stands to ruffle feathers on both sides.
“There are going to be times when I disagree with the police officer’s investigation or I disagree with the district attorney’s investigation, and there are going to be times when the community will disagree with my findings, so I guess the hardest part will be kind of massaging all the different interests and entities together,” White explained.
White will not be investigating any incidents retroactively, so he spent his first three weeks on the job making contacts and settling into his role.