Friday, April 18, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Federal probe clears deputies in Gutierrez shooting

By
February 15, 2011 | Leave Comment

Federal investigators found no evidence of criminal civil rights violations in the 2009 shooting death of Luis Gutierrez Navarro by members of the Yolo County Sheriff’s Department’s gang task force, according to a letter sheriff’s officials received Monday.

The letter, a copy of which was released this morning by the Sheriff’s Department, says the criminal section of the U.S. Department of Justice’s civil rights division received a complaint about the actions of Sgt. Dale Johnson and Deputy Hernan Oviedo in connection with the April 30, 2009, shooting on a Woodland freeway overpass.

“We recently completed our review of the results of the investigation of that complaint to determine whether a federal criminal prosecution was warranted,” says the letter, dated Feb. 4 and signed by Section Chief Mark J. Koppelhoff. “After careful consideration, we concluded that the evidence does not establish a prosecutable violation of the federal criminal civil rights statutes. Accordingly, we have closed our investigation.”

However, it continues: “Please be advised that our conclusion in this matter does not preclude other components of the U.S. Department of Justice from taking action, where appropriate, under their separate enforcement authority.”

The letter comes nearly 15 months after an investigation by the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office that determined the shooting was justified. The DA’s findings were reviewed and backed by the California Attorney General’s Office.

Sheriff’s officials said Gutierrez, 26, was high on methamphetamine when he swung a knife at deputies who tried to make contact with him on the East Gum Avenue overpass in Woodland. Both Johnson and Oviedo fired a total of six shots, one of which fatally struck Gutierrez.

A third officer at the scene, Deputy Hector Bautista, did not fire his weapon and apparently was not a subject of the complaint to the federal Department of Justice.

The shooting brought considerable controversy as area civil-rights organizations questioned why Gutierrez, who had no criminal history or confirmed gang ties, was targeted by the deputies. Some theorized that Gutierrez was unaware that the plain-clothed deputies were law-enforcement officers and may have been trying to defend himself.

An independent civil rights commission, chaired by former California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso, also is investigating the shooting.

Al Rojas of the Yolo County Justice Coalition, which formed in the wake of the shooting, said Monday he wants to know whether the U.S. Department of Justice conducted its own investigation of the incident or reviewed the previous findings before reaching its conclusion.

“There’s no real substance to it,” Rojas said of the statement released by the Sheriff’s Department. “Until we see what type of investigation this was, there’s a lot of questions remaining.”

Sheriff Ed Prieto, who said he requested a federal probe of the officers’ actions along with District Attorney Jeff Reisig, said federal investigators reviewed reports by the Woodland Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office.

“Had they noticed that the investigation wasn’t thorough, they would have initiated their own,” Prieto said. “I felt certain that our officers did not act inappropriately, and I was confident of that from the very beginning.”

– Reach Lauren Keene at lkeene@davisenterprise.net or (530) 747-8048. Comment on this story at www.davisenterprise.com

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Old friend helps Brad and others find kidneys

    By Dave Jones | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Chuck Rairdan joins school board race

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1

    Davis United Methodist Church, Holmes Green Team leaders honored

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Need a new best friend?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    ‘Hitchhiking’ dog looking for new home

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Online K-12 school holds info night

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Volkssporting Club plans North Davis walks

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Schwenger lawn signs available

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

    Volunteers needed for Grad Night

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Davis grad makes rain collection a business

    By Jason McAlister | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    A few spots left on history tour

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Chipotle fundraiser boosts Emerson tech upgrade

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Event to provide nature scholarship

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Students have new options on leasing front

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Author discusses memoirs of Appalachia at The Avid Reader

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    NAMI backers walk in Sacramento

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Food for the hungry

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

    Groups join for a day of service

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Forum

    Early help is a great investment

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    More tax money? Answer the question

    By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6

     
    UCD IS responsible for students

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

     
    In search of great ideas

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

    Please keep the nursery open

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Sports

    Sharks double up Kings in Game 1

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Aggies lose a slugfest in opener at Riverside

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Fox coming to UCD; Riffle heads to Florida

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
    DHS’ Golston goes full-bore on the diamond

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Devils show more life in loss to Mitty

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    DYSA roundup: Intensity has big week; 10U games dominate schedule

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Sports briefs: Aggies set the academic bar high

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

     
    Pro baseball roundup: Susac sends Sacramento to a rare loss

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    ‘Transcendence’: A whole new level of tedium

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    ‘The Bloom’ paves way for Whole Earth Festival

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    DHS tribute to Tony Fields slated for April 25-26

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    UCD, city team up for Music on the Green

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    .

    Business

    Ford turns its Focus to domestic market

    By Ali Arsham | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, April 18, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Real Estate Review

    Featured Listing

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER1

    Professional Services Directory

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER2

    Lyon Real Estate

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER3

    Jamie Madison

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

    Yolo FCU

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

    Acacia at Huntington Square

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

    Travis Credit Union

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER5

    Kim Eichorn

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

    Suzanne Kimmel

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

    Lynne Wegner

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

    Kim Merrel Lamb

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

    Chris Snow

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

    Patricia Echevarria

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

    Don Guthrie

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

    Andrew Dowling

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

    Sheryl Patterson

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

    Coldwell Banker

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER10

    Coldwell Banker

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER11

    Julie Partain & Dick Partain

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

    Heather Barnes

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

    Malek Baroody

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER13

    Karen Waggoner

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

    Willowbank Park

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

    Team Traverso

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

    Julie Leonard

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

    Tim Harrison

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

    Tracy Harris

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

    Lori Prizmich

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

    Raul Zamora

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

    Joe Kaplan

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

    Coldwell Banker

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER18

    Open House Map

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER19

    F1rst Street Real Estate

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER20