15 Jan 1994
By Elizabeth Kraemer
National City - Family members and friends, mourning the death of police shooting victim Jaime Carbajal, are looking for answers. Tuesday they packed City Hall, imploring council members and the mayor for help.
"A month has passed and the family has not seen a report and the officers are back on patrol," Diana Guerena, a longtime friend of the family told the council. "Does this mean the shooting was justified?"
Last month police opened fire on Carbajal, a 29 year old mechanic, after he reportedly came toward them with a 15 inch Bowie hunting knife. Officers Randy Bishop and Steve Lindley were responding to a 911 call from Bertha Carbajal who reported she was frightened because her husband had been drinking and was slashing furniture.
"Who do we call when we are in danger? Do we call 911 and expect to be killed?" asked Cristina Morena, Bertha Carbajal's sister. According to medical examiner reports, Carbajal was shot 10 times and had a blood alcohol level over the legal limit.
The groups supporting Carbajal have been picketing City Hall and the police station each weekend since the incident. They've also distrubured fliers asking for support and gathered signatures, petitioning to takethe officers off duty until questions are answered.
Police Chief Kent Ressor told the council it was his decision to return the officers to duty after a three day leave. Defending his actions, Reesor said "our officers are well trained and I made the decision to release them after a full (psychological) interview."
"We have nothing to hide and it will all come out," Reesor said, adding that a council meeting was not the forum for discussing the report.
The internal investigation, completed Monday, was turned over to the District Attorney's office. With 75 witnesses contacted during the investigation, Reesor said the report, which is the size of two large telephone books, was a thorough investigation.
Stephen Anear, deputy district attorney of the special operations divisions, said he will supervise the review and whatever conclusions are reached will be communicatied to the police department.