California Department of Justice Releases Report on Officer-Involved Shooting of Leonel Chavez

Wednesday, May 24, 2023
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta, in accordance with Assembly Bill 1506 (AB 1506), today released a report on the death of Leonel Chavez. The report is part of the California Department of Justice's (DOJ) ongoing efforts to provide transparency and accountability in law enforcement practices. The report provides a detailed analysis of the incident and outlines the DOJ's findings. After a thorough investigation, DOJ has concluded that criminal charges are not appropriate in this case. However, DOJ recognizes that there are still important lessons to be learned from this incident. As required by AB 1506, the Attorney General has issued specific policy and practice recommendations related to the incident.

"The loss of life is always a tragedy. We understand that this incident was difficult for everyone involved, including the family of Mr. Chavez, law enforcement, and the community at large," said Attorney General Bonta. "We hope that this report will provide some clarity and help us move forward together towards a safer, more just California. The California Department of Justice remains committed to working with all stakeholders to ensure that our justice system is fair, transparent, and accountable to all Californians.”

On September 28, 2021, officers from the California Highway Patrol responded to a call regarding a vehicle collision shortly after 3:00 p.m. During the course of the incident, Mr. Chavez was fatally shot. Pursuant to AB 1506, which requires the California Department of Justice to investigate all incidents of an officer-involved shooting resulting in the death of an unarmed civilian in the state, DOJ conducted a thorough investigation into this incident. As part of its investigation, the DOJ has identified several policy recommendations that it believes will help prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.

These recommendations include:

  • Updating training for law enforcement officers on use of force policies.
  • Increasing transparency and accountability in critical incidents involving law enforcement officers.
  • Equipping all CHP officers with body-worn cameras.

DOJ believes that these policy recommendations will help improve public safety while also promoting trust and accountability in our justice system.

A copy of the report can be found here

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