Independent reviewer defends decision to delay Fresno Police audit

John Gliatta came before council and the public on Thursday, claiming there was no deception in the delay of the review.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Fresno Independent Reviewer is under scrutiny for intentionally delaying a report of unreasonable force by the Fresno Police Department.

John Gliatta came before council and the public on Thursday, claiming there was no deception in the delay of the review.

Gliatta ruled the use of force was unreasonable in the January 2019 incident involving a teenager.

But it was the delay in presenting his findings that raised public concern. At Thursday's city council meeting, Council President Miguel Arias pressed Gliatta on the holdup of the audit.

Gliatta defended his decision to hold off on releasing the audit in July, saying it was made with community reaction in mind as people across the country protested police violence.

But for some community member, the intentional delay led to mistrust in Gliatta's decision-making.

The report eventually became public in September, and said 17-year-old London Wallace initially resisted arrest and that Officer Christopher Martinez could have stopped punching Wallace after delivering his first three blows.

The report added that the following punches could have been avoided since Wallace was in a defensive position and no longer a threat.

Next August, a jury will decide whether the city of Fresno should be held fiscally responsible for the level of force.
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