Judge Allows Release of Video Recording in Rocklin Excessive Force Case
June 19, 2019
R. Scott Owens
PLACERCOUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY
10810 Justice Center Drive, Suite 240
Roseville, California 95678
For Immediate Release
June 19, 2019
Contact: Jeff Wilson, Assistant District Attorney 916 543-8000
JUDGE ALLOWS RELEASE OF VIDEO RECORDING IN ROCKLIN EXCESSIVE FORCE CASE
A Placer County Jury acquitted Rocklin Police Officer Brad Alford on May 15, 2019 of using excessive force in the arrest of a Sacramento man suspected of DUI that occurred on September 25, 2017. The case was brought to the attention of the District Attorney’s Office when we were contacted by the Rocklin Police Department requesting assistance pursuant to the Placer County Officer Involved Critical Incident Protocol. The Rocklin Police Department advised our office that a preliminary investigation had revealed evidence that a Rocklin Police Officer had used excessive force to effectuate an arrest of a suspected DUI driver. The Rocklin Police Department asked our office to review the video and documentary evidence in the case and take over the investigation of the conduct of the Officer.
The evidence from the investigation, including a series of videos of the assault, revealed that Officer Alford did use force against a DUI suspect that was excessive and criminal in nature. Accordingly, the Placer County District Attorney’s Office filed a criminal complaint against Officer Alford for Assault with Personal Use of a Deadly Weapon in violation of Section 245(a)(1) of the Penal Code, and one felony count of Assault By a Public Officer in violation of Section 149 of the Penal Code.
When Alford was arrested our office received requests for copies of the video recording of the incident. In order to protect Alford’s right to a fair trial and to protect the integrity of the investigation, we refused the request until the proceeding against Alford had concluded.
A preliminary hearing was held where the Court found sufficient evidence to order Alford to stand trial on the charges. Our office requested that the video evidence presented at the preliminary hearing be sealed for the same reasons as stated above. The sealing order was made by the Court.
At the conclusion of the trial our office asked for the unsealing of the video evidence given that the trial had concluded in order to comply with media requests. Alford, through his counsel objected to the release. The Court set the matter for a hearing on June 19, 2019, at 8:30 a.m. in Department 44 of the Placer County Superior Court. At that hearing the Court granted our office’s request to unseal the video evidence.
While our office disagrees with the outcome, we respect the Jury’s verdict. We also understand that proof beyond a reasonable doubt is a high burden to meet. Our office does, however, stand by our investigation and continues to believe that the prosecution in the case was appropriate given the video evidence that was presented to the Jury. We believe the attached videos speak for themselves. It remains clear to our office that Alford’s conduct was excessive and certainly not consistent with the conduct of other law enforcement officers in our County.