Oakland civil rights lawyer John Burris is asking the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the Salinas Police Department, whose officers have shot and killed four people since March.
All four men killed in the shootings were Latino. Burris, who's representing the family of two of the victims in federal lawsuits, said he can't speak to whether any of the officers involved should be criminally prosecuted.
"But I do know this: that four killings in a very short period of time is uncalled for, it is questionable and it's alarming, if nothing else," he said Tuesday during a press conference in front of the San Francisco Federal Building.
"The community has a right to be frightened and concerned about whether the police really are looking out for them, particularly the men, whether they are using the slightest, the slightest of provocations to use deadly force," Burris said.
If the Department of Justice decides to move forward, Burris said investigators would look into whether the shootings were isolated incidents or part of a pattern in the department.