ANAHEIM, CA - On July 2nd, Anaheim Police Officers contacted Mr. Fermin Vincent Valenzuela while responding to a call of a man who had followed a woman home. Valenzuela engaged the officers in a lengthy physical confrontation and as officers attempted to take him into custody, Valenzuela went into medical distress. Officers began life-saving measures and called for paramedics, who transported him to the hospital.
We learned this evening that tragically, Mr. Valenzuela has passed away. While any loss of life is a tragedy, the death of Mr. Valenzuela while in our custody is particularly impactful and I express my sincere condolences to his family.
My staff met with the Valenzuela family the day of the incident, providing them information regarding the investigative process along with a point of contact who would provide updated information and who would be available to answer any questions as the investigation unfolds.
As is customary, the District Attorney’s Office is the lead investigative agency with the responsibility of determining whether the actions of my officers were within the law. In this case, all of the involved officers were wearing Body Worn Cameras, which were activated, and footage from their cameras is among the evidence we’ve already provided to investigators from the District Attorney's Office. Further, all involved and witnessing officers have provided voluntary statements regarding their actions and observations to the D.A.'s Office.
In addition, APD's Major Incident Review Team along with the Office of Independent Review are conducting concurrent investigations to determine whether officers’ actions fell within Department policy.
My Command Staff and I review every facet of every major incident in our continuous effort to evaluate ways to de-escalate tense situations and minimize the amount of force we use. That process for this incident is underway concurrently as the District Attorney examines the actions of the officers.