An eight-member panel has been named to investigate the killing of a toddler held hostage by her father during a Los Angeles police shootout last month, says the Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton said the group would examine tactics used by SWAT officers during the July 10 shootout, which resulted in the deaths of 19-month-old Suzie Marie Peña and her father, Jose Raul Peña. The father, under investigation for allegedly threatening family members, held the girl in his arms while repeatedly firing on officers and civilians.
The toddler’s slaying was the second hostage death during a standoff in the 40-year history of the LAPD’s SWAT team. Panel members are Richard Aborn, an attorney who specializes in police integrity issues; attorney Merrick Bobb, who monitors the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and is a police policy expert; William Geller, a police use-of-force expert; Phil Hanson, an L.A. County sheriff’s lieutenant and SWAT team supervisor; Gregory Longworth, a former New York City police officer and police defense expert; Bernard Melekian, Pasadena police chief; Linda Pierce, a Seattle Police Department assistant chief; and Eugene Ramirez, a lawyer and former prosecutor who has defended SWAT officers.