In a case that has been the subject of scrutiny and public concern, the Alameda County DA's Public Accountability Unit has made the call to not bring any criminal charges against Fremont Police Officer Brian Burch in the shooting death of Joshua Gloria, which took place on May 24, 2021. DA Pamela Price revealed that the PAU found insufficient evidence for criminal prosecution after thoroughly evaluating the incident involving a review of body-cam footage, reports, and dispatch recordings.
As detailed in an announcement released by the Alameda County District Attorney's Office, the PAU's decision was influenced by the perception that Officer Burch had legitimate reasons to consider Gloria a significant threat. The PAU statement clarified, "had valid reasons to believe that Mr. Gloria represented a substantial risk of causing severe harm or even death to both himself and those in the vicinity and further that he reasonably believed that he needed to use deadly force to stop Mr. Gloria from fleeing."
The investigative process not only included a meticulous assessment of the existing evidence but also involved site visits to the scene of the fatal incident and communication with Gloria's family and their civil attorney. Nevertheless, DA Price was not confident in the ability to convict, with proof beyond a reasonable doubt, that Burch's actions were not in lawful self-defense or a lawful use of deadly force, especially considering that Gloria was suspected of a felony and actively fleeing the scene.
Established by DA Price earlier this year, the Public Accountability Unit is fulfilling its mandate to reexamine contentious cases involving law enforcement. The PAU has taken an aggressive stance in other instances this year. It notably filed charges against two deputies in the separate case of Vinetta Martin. There are over 250 such incidents still under the PAU's review that potentially involve police misconduct.
The Alameda County District Attorney's website offers further information on the PAU's activities, including their ongoing commitment to reevaluating instances of in-custody deaths and officer-involved shootings. With the Joshua Gloria case closed without charges, the Public Accountability Unit's scrutiny of law enforcement practices in Alameda County continues.