San Jose Police Department’s legal and public credibility in question after 4 recent allegations of officer misconduct


SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) — The San Jose Police Department is facing backlash due to several instances of officer misconduct lately and it could create legal issues.

Mayor Sam Liccardo is now at breaking point after at least four officer misconduct issues came to light recently.

RELATED: San Jose officer charged with masturbating inside family home in latest alleged misconduct

“We have a serious problem with the SJPD,” Mayor Liccardo said.

SJPD leader Anthony Mata was seen yesterday escorting Constable Matthew Dominguez out of Internal Affairs after he was arrested for indecent assault while on duty.

Despite the video shared by the police, civil rights lawyer John Burris fears that responsibility is not actually demonstrated.

He says officers accused of showing up to work drunk, indecent exposure, dying of drugs and offering a meth pipe in exchange for information shouldn’t happen if there are genuine consequences to shares.

“There has to be a feeling that officers are going to be held accountable for misconduct, whether they hurt someone or they break the various rules they have,” Burris said. “If you don’t, you send a clear message to your officers that the rules don’t matter and that you will be protected no matter what.”

RELATED: Mayor Liccardo Cracks Down on SJPD Officer Misconduct, Calls for Random Drug and Alcohol Testing

With the department already facing staffing shortages and these events involving young officers, many are questioning the SJPD’s hiring process.

It’s an issue that Mayor Liccardo voiced on Thursday.

“Given that these are usually very young officers, which tells me there may be something seriously wrong with everything we do with screening and backgrounds and we need to understand that,” said Liccardo. “We have to fix it.”

Because if they don’t, legal analyst Steve Clark says it will lead to a legal ripple effect.

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Clarks says cases can be overturned due to a lack of credibility if those officers accused of misconduct have made prior arrests and that could reverberate department-wide.

“Officers benefit of the doubt every day when they show up in court and I think when you see so many incidents in such a short period of time, that benefit of the doubt starts to erode,” Clark said.

At least three officers remain on leave due to recent events.

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