Mayor Danene Sorace released the following statement this afternoon in response to the District Attorney’s investigation of the police-involved shooting on Sept. 13.
“Our community experienced a tragedy with the death of Ricardo Munoz. Many have been impacted, but none like the Munoz family.
The District Attorney has concluded that there is no question that the officer’s actions were reasonable, justified, and lawful. With the DA investigation finalized and that information now available, the City of Lancaster Bureau of Police will now complete its internal investigation about whether or not any Police Bureau policies were violated. Given that the DA’s findings were just announced, some time is needed to complete the internal investigation. When that is completed, those findings will be shared publicly.
We know the DA’s findings will not satisfy everyone in our community, yet the District Attorney was very clear. My hope is that we can work collectively to prevent a similar tragedy from occurring again.
This work has already begun. When I put out a call for help the day after the shooting, I was overwhelmed with offers of assistance and ideas. I’d like to share two of those with you.
The week after the shooting more than 50 mental health providers met to review how to share available resources more broadly, and they have put together a resource guide that will be published online and distributed to every household in the city. These resources include financial assistance for mental health services.
The following week, I also had the opportunity to meet with all City Police platoons. They shared their desire for the City to invest in a crisis intervention co-responder model in tandem with the Police Social Worker to de-escalate crises, link mental health consumers with community resources, and provide better outcomes for all involved. This needs to be a priority in our work going forward – both in the City budget and in conversation with our partners at the County who operate Crisis Intervention.
However, I want to be clear that based on the DA’s investigation, this all transpired in four seconds and there was not an opportunity to de-escalate.
There is so much more I could say about the commitment and innovation of our city. I am encouraged by proposed solutions that our community and our police officers have about how to move forward and I am committed to making these ideas a reality in tandem with others.
Right now, we need to focus on what unites us rather than divides us – most especially during these trying times. It’s a choice that each one of us has. Lancaster, take heart. I believe we will find new paths forward together, even out of tragedy, that hold promise for a stronger and more equitable Lancaster.”