Two and a half weeks after the shooting death of Jeremiah Chass, many questions remain unanswered. Judging by letters and online comments, people are still trying to understand what happened in the struggle between the 16-year-old Sebastopol student and two Sonoma County sheriff’s deputies. The Santa Rosa Police Department, the outside agency assigned to the case, says the investigation continues.
But the passing of time has persuaded some groups that an outside review process is needed. The Sonoma County chapter of the NAACP this week became the first major organization to call for independent review boards to examine police actions. And, on Thursday’s op-ed page, the local chapter of the ACLU will add its voice to the civic organizations frustrated by the lack of information.
Meanwhile, our lead editorial will measure the pluses and minuses of the NAACP proposal, and suggest that the details needs to be explained before people can pass judgment. With an issue subject to both emotion and politics, the challenge will be to create a review process that is fair, open and impartial.