When Jacqueline Seabrooks took over last year as police chief in Inglewood, Calif., city leaders and residents voiced high hopes that the veteran law enforcement outsider could restore trust in an institution crucial to a town struggling with waves of scandal and years of social change. But this week the department and City Hall are once again under intense criticism after a fatal shooting Monday involving an officer already under investigation in the killing of a man two months ago, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Whether Officer Brian Ragan, one of two patrolmen under scrutiny for the May shooting of an unarmed man, acted properly in the latest confrontation remains to be seen. But the incident, on the heels of other recent shootings, has given new energy to critics who question the city’s leadership and whether Seabrooks is up to delivering needed reforms. On Tuesday, many wanted to know why Ragan was returned to the streets so quickly, when an investigation of his actions and a $25-million lawsuit are still pending. More than 200 people showed up at the City Council meeting to vent their anger. Some demanded Seabrooks’ resignation. Others called for creation of a new, independent commission to investigate the Police Department.