A lot went wrong on the morning of Nov. 9, 2012, culminating in Lakewood police officer James Davies being accidentally shot and killed by a fellow officer.
A review board — commissioned by Lakewood Police Chief Kevin Paletta — released a 99-page report on June 17 regarding the shooting.
The report featured an in-depth look at every aspect of the police force and officer’s actions that contributed to the accidental shooting by Officer Devaney Braley.
“The enforcement operation at 1940 Eaton St. lacked sufficient command and control to be executed safely and effectively,” the report stated.
Officers responded to reports of gunshots at the residence.
“Clearly no one thing or person is responsible for this tragedy,” Paletta said in a statement upon the report’s release. “It is our hope that others learn from this so no other department loses one of their officers in the line of duty, especially not this way.”
Among the issues that may have contributed to Davies’ death was officer fatigue — Davies had worked more than 18 hours that day — as well as poor communication, lack of efficient incident command and confusion, according to the report.
According to information in the report, sergeants on the scene became too involved in duties normally assigned to subordinates, and coupled with the fact that it wasn’t clear who was on charge on the scene made a command role difficult.
Poor radio communications, due in part to confusion and noise, made planning the search of the home at 1940 Eaton St. too ambiguous.
The report states that Davies did not identify himself as a police officer when Braley gave him orders prior to the shooting, nor did he take all the steps necessary to ensure his safety.
“Agent Davies did not effectively communicate his position to his supervisor, nor, due to the lack of adequate cover, the hazardous nature of his position,” the report said.
Fatigue from working “18 hours and 40 minutes” prior to the encounter may have played a role in Davies’ decision making and reaction time, the report notes.
Davies had worked a 10-hour day, and then volunteered for overtime that evening.
To avoid a similar tragedy, the report encouraged supervisors to be made aware of all duties on scene, finding methods to cut down on radio traffic, and examining shift lengths.
First Judicial District Attorney Peter Weir announced on Jan. 23 that his office found there was no criminal conduct by Braley in the accidental shooting.
Chief Paletta received a letter from Weir’s office, which is commonly sent after an officer is involved shooting.