Fresno’s police auditor defines his role to city council, weeks after public outcry demanded his resignation

Local News

Independent police auditor John Gliatta delayed the release of a report in May

FRESNO, California (KSEE) — Weeks after Fresno’s independent police auditor admitted to delaying the release of a report involving excessive use of force allegations with a teen, he stood before city council to explain his role.

The workshop was scheduled after many called for his resignation. After the workshop, it seemed a lot got cleared up about the auditor’s decision-making process.

Auditor John Gliatta took the time to define his role and the process he takes when examining complaints against Fresno Police.

Some of that included going over the complaint process and the kind of cases he’ll review — including police shootings, use of force allegations and in-custody deaths.

Given the public outcry, he addressed his report regarding the incident with London Wallace. Wallace was seen by police body camera footage being punched repeatedly by Fresno Police Officer Christopher Martinez.

Gliatta again defended his decision to delay the report’s release, due to high tensions in the community after the death of George Floyd.

He also brought up his second quarter report released in the summer, saying he mentioned in it the report regarding Wallace’s incident would be delayed.

However, it went unnoticed by the community.

“There was no deception. When I was asked about it during subcommittee meeting, I could’ve easily said, ‘You’ll see that in two weeks because that’s essentially when it came out. But, I elaborated and told them exactly why it was delayed,” Gliatta said.

After Gliatta’s explanation, Fresno City Council president Miguel Arias described it all as a misunderstanding — that the community’s emotions run high in any use of force case.

“There’s a lot of variables that create that space in which we have to wrestle with things that we’re seeing on t-v or social media or on the news that surprise all of us,” Arias said.

In his supplement report released Oct. 1, Gliatta did find Martinez did use excessive force against Wallace.

Gliatta also said his report include police response to his findings. That lets us know what policy changes are being made, if any.

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