In-Custody Deaths

Dan Lawton filed this request with the Alameda County Sheriff's Office of Alameda County, CA.


From: Dan Lawton

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the California Public Records Act (California Government Code §§ 6250), I hereby request the following records:

I'm requesting the names of all individuals who have died in custody of the Alameda County Sheriff's Office between Jan 1, 2011 and February 15, 2016. I'm also requesting the dates of the aforementioned incidents. Per this request, I'm defining in-custody deaths as deaths that occur during arrest, detainment, pursuit or any other interaction with police officers, as well as arrests that include during booking or in transport.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 calendar days, as the statute requires.


Dan Lawton

From: Mulder, Judea R., Sheriff

Mr. Lawton,

Pursuant to California Government Code section 6253(c), we write in response to the correspondence under the California Public Records Act, which our agency received on February 17, 2016, regarding in-custody deaths in our detention facilities from January 1, 2011 to February 15, 2016 . We note that the requests are limited only to records in our custody and control.
Please note that we will not produce documents which are privileged or otherwise exempt from disclosure pursuant to California Government Code section 6254(k). This includes documents protected by the attorney-client privilege, attorney work product, and official information privileges.

No preliminary drafts or memorandum not normally kept in the ordinary course of business will be produced pursuant to California Government Code section 6254(a).

We will not produce documents that are subject to copyright protections, contain trade secrets, and/or proprietary and/or confidential information. See California Government Code sections 6253.9, 6254(k), 6254.9; California Evidence Code section 1060.

We will not produce documents exempt from disclosure under the deliberative process privilege. See Times Mirror Co. v. Superior Court (1991) 53 Cal.3d 1325.

No documents will be produced where “The public interest served by not disclosing the record clearly outweighs the public interest by the disclosure of the record,” under California Government Code section 6255. Additionally, no documents will be produced if they contain personnel, medical, private, confidential, or similar files, the disclosure of which would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy under California Government Code section 6254(c). And, to the extent any of the records you are requesting are the subject of ongoing litigation and/or pending investigations, such records are exempt from production. See Government Code sections 6254 (b), (f).

In addition, no documents or records will be produced to the extent such a production would violate California Penal Code §§ 832.7, 832.8, 11076, 13072, or Evidence Code § 1043.

Furthermore, as we reviewed your request, we might have discovered other applicable privileges and/or exemptions under Government Code sections 6254, 6255, 6256 or other applicable laws, and we reserve all rights to assert those at any time.

Attached is a document responsive to your request. Our transaction is concluded.

Judea Mulder in behalf of Captain Shawn K. Peterson
Alameda County Sheriff's Office
Internal Affairs
Civil Litigation/CCW/Public Records
1401 Lakeside Drive,7th Floor
Oakland, CA 94612

Phone: 510.272.6874 Tieline: 26874
Fax: 510.208.9803 QIC: 26017

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From: Dan Lawton

Hi Judea,

Thanks for your response. I had a few follow up questions.

(1) I noticed that there were no names associated with these deaths. Is there a reason those were withheld? If not, could you please provide them.
(2) Additionally, my request asked for not only deaths that occurred within correction facilities, but also deaths that occurred from use-of-force incidents during arrests or transport. See excerpt below. Can you please provide those deaths as well?

"Per this request, I'm defining in-custody deaths as deaths that occur during arrest, detainment, pursuit or any other interaction with police officers, as well as arrests that include during booking or in transport."

Thanks for your assistance and feel free to contact me any questions.
Dan Lawton