* ACLU asking Sonoma County Sheriff Bill Cogbill to Release Name of Deputy in Shooting
Published by Junior Staff Writer on June 15, 2010
The American Civil Liberties Union has asked the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department to release the name of the deputy who fatally shot a Santa Rosa man after a vehicle pursuit two weeks ago. The sheriff’s department hasn’t released the name of the deputy involved in the June 1 shooting due to concerns about the deputy’s safety, the sheriff’s department said. Sheriff Bill Cogbill said this afternoon the deputy’s name wouldn’t be released until potential threats to the deputy’s safety are mitigated. New information influencing the decision was received Friday and Monday, Cogbill said. Before the shooting, sheriff’s deputies pursued Albert Leday Jr., 42, from a reported burglary of his girlfriend’s apartment in the Larkfield area to the Coddingtown Mall in Santa Rosa. Three deputies were at the scene when Leday crashed his Volvo into a light pole at West Steele Lane and Guerneville Road. When Leday emerged from the car, he appeared to be reaching into his waistband for a weapon and failed to obey commands to surrender, according to Santa Rosa police who are investigating the shooting. When Leday reached into his waistband a second time, a deputy
fired three times, striking Leday once in the torso. He died at the Sutter Medical Center of Santa Rosa at about 7:30 p.m. At least one witness at the scene also said she saw Leday reaching for his waistband before he was shot. No weapon was found at the scene. Attorney Steven Fabian of the Sonoma Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California delivered a written request to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department Friday asking for all records about the identities of the deputies at the scene to be released within 10 days. The request concerns all documents, video, audio tapes, emails and other electronic records and documents created by a member of a government agency or member of the public. Fabian said this afternoon it is unusual for the name of the deputy to remain secret this long. “The public has a right to know this information,” he said. “I find it very troubling they are not giving it out.” On June 2, the sheriff’s department disclosed Leday’s past criminal record, which includes convictions for burglary, robbery, assault and battery on a peace officer. He was on parole at the time he was killed. Fabian said the sheriff’s department should be equally forthcoming about what happened on June 1. “It’s the sheriff’s office’s duty to protect the deputy if they want, but that doesn’t take away the public’s right to know who that is,” Fabian said. Cogbill was meeting with the Sonoma County Counsel’s office this afternoon on the ACLU’s request. He said only the deputy who shot Leday is on administrative leave, and it’s possible the names of the other two deputies will be released first. Cogbill said the sheriff’s department thought it could release the deputy’s name, but “we got new information that concerned us more,” he said.
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