Madera Police Department has asked for the FBI to conduct an “independent review” of the city’s two officer-involved shootings earlier this month.
Chief Steve Frazier made the announcement Monday afternoon in canceling a town hall meeting in a Facebook posting. He said the June 16 shooting is still under investigation.
The Madera County District Attorney’s Office said the shooting on June 5 was justified.
In that shooting, a man pointed a gun at Madera police in suicide by cop attempt, Frazier said.
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A police officer shot the man, Saul Santana, 39, in the shoulder.
Santana had been seen driving a pickup and holding a knife to his own neck, and police got a report he also was brandishing a handgun.
The Madera Police Department recognizes the need for transparency and will follow through with our responsibility to meaningfully engage our community.
Steve Frazier, Madera Police chief
On June 16, a 32-year-man was shot and killed after a confrontation with Madera police.
Police arrived in the 800 block of Wessmith Way around 6 p.m. on reports of a man using a machete and a large shovel handle to break the window of a neighbor’s vehicle. They found Sergio Valdovinos armed with both weapons, and he went in and out of his home several times, a police spokesman said.
When officers attempted to confront Valdovinos, he swung the shovel handle at the officers at least three times. The lead officer fired his gun several times, striking Valdovinos. He later died.
“The Madera Police Department recognizes the need for transparency and will follow through with our responsibility to meaningfully engage our community,” Frazier said.
In concluding his statement, he said the department “also asked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation for an independent review of both shootings.”