CHICO- When the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) was notified on November 30, 2022 that some of its members with California Alcoholic Beverage Control were involved in a shooting after a felony assault on a peace officer, CSLEA immediately launched its Legal Defense Fund (LDF) protocol to assist the member-agent who fired his weapon, and the member-agents who were on the scene at the time of the incident.
“Myself and my family can’t thank you enough, I owe everything to you guys, the response was unbelievable,” said the CSLEA member who fired his weapon during the assault on his partner. “CSLEA’s Chief Counsel Kasey Clark reassured me over the phone, told me an attorney would be at the command post as soon as possible, and when Attorney William Baird arrived, he was there because he cared, not because it was his job and he made me feel as such. He stayed with me the whole time.”
“I was 100 percent impressed with the union’s response, at the scene and on the phone,” said Jeff McKay, a CSLEA site representative who responded to the scene in the role of peer support. “Seeing the relief on the faces of my fellow agents as they spoke on the phone with CSLEA Chief Counsel Kasey Clark and at the scene with CSLEA’s LDF attorney from Mastagni Law Firm, affirms my belief that our union is our safety net and by our sides.”
McKay remained on the scene with the agents for hours as the investigation into the shooting transpired. “It is an exhausting but necessary process, this all transpired around one in the afternoon and many of the agents didn’t get home until 1:30 in the morning.”
The OIS occurred in the parking lot of a supermarket where agents were conducting an investigation into the thefts of alcohol by underage individuals. During the investigation, agents approached two individuals who were suspected of criminal activity and who were in a car that was reported stolen. The driver of that car drove toward, and the car made contact with, an agent, prompting another agent to draw and fire his weapon at the car.
The passenger of the vehicle was apprehended at the scene. The driver left the scene and a standoff with the Chico Police Department ensued at a nearby apartment complex. No one was struck by the gunfire, an agent was taken to the hospital for a medical examination, and a suspect was injured by flying glass.
Within 35 minutes of the shooting, the agent who fired his weapon placed a call to CSLEA Headquarters, alerting the union to the OIS and requesting assistance. CSLEA Chief Counsel Clark spoke with the agent and secured counsel for the agents on the scene.
CSLEA would like to remind its members that it is a good idea to have CSLEA’s main number and after hours LDF hotline programed into their cellphones in case of a situation such as this.
“I suspect that it was a huge relief when Chief Counsel Clark spoke with our member involved in the shooting as well as the other agents at the scene who had questions about the investigation and interview process,” said CSLEA President Alan Barcelona. “We are so very relieved that our members at this scene are all okay and that we could be of great assistance to them. As a peace officer, it is so very important to belong to your union and have the backup and support during incidents like this. Our attorneys know and protect your rights as a peace officer. Again, we are grateful that our members involved in this incident are all okay”
During business hours, members involved in an OIS can call CSLEA's main number.
In addition, CSLEA has a Legal Defense Fund 24-hour emergency number: (800) 533-5448