Gary Klien 12/04/13
The Novato Police Department has completed its investigation of a deputy-involved shooting in Marin City and sent it to the district attorney’s office for review.
Novato police Chief James Berg declined to comment on the findings of the investigation, or whether his department recommended that prosecutors file charges against the deputy, Evan Kubota.
District Attorney Ed Berberian said his office has not made a decision. He did not say when the review would be completed.
“They’re voluminous materials,” he said. “We’re talking about hundreds of pages of reports.”
Kubota, who joined the sheriff’s department more than five years ago, has remained on duty since the incident. The sheriff’s department is conducting its own internal review, and Kubota could face personnel-related consequences regardless of the district attorney’s decision.
“We think that Deputy Kubota acted appropriately, especially in light of the circumstances that confronted him,” said his attorney, Julia Hickman of the Pleasanton-based law firm Rains Lucia Stern, PC.
The incident occurred July 7 when Kubota stopped Chaka Grayson in Marin City on suspicion of driving with a suspended license. Grayson ducked inside the car, refused to show his hands and then started to drive at Kubota, according to the sheriff’s department’s preliminary account.
Kubota fired his gun because he thought his life was in danger, the sheriff’s department said. Grayson, 44, suffered two gunshot wounds to an arm and was treated at Marin General Hospital.
Kubota was also injured when witnesses in Marin City started throwing rocks and debris at him, according to the sheriff’s department.
Grayson was arrested later, but the district attorney’s office released him without charges.
Because Kubota works for the sheriff’s department, Novato police were asked to investigate the incident to give it the appearance of greater impartiality.
Some supporters of Grayson said a different agency should have investigated the incident because Kubota’s wife is employed by the Novato Police Department. She is a dispatcher.