Deputies Trestka and Cote have been cleared by the State Attorney’s Office for the shooting of Carlos Charles last June. According to reports, Charles escaped an attempted arrest, tied up deputy Cote, and struggled with deputy Trestka’s gun, which discharged. Apparently deputy Cote was able to free himself, and shot Charles as he struggled over the firearm with Trestka. Originally it was reported that one of the deputies was injured, but it’s unclear if he was struck by a bullet or received other injuries. The article indicates that the State Attorney’s office conducted an investigation, though it doesn’t make clear if it was their own investigation, or if they merely reviewed another agency’s investigation. LCSO generally handles most investigations themselves, and turns them over to the SAO for review. The facts as laid out in the report certainly suggest that the shooting was justified.
This story is all the more relevant now as the Tommy Kollman shooting drags on, well into its third month at this point. If that case proves to be as complicated, or more complicated than this one, it could be many months before details are released in that shooting. I urge LCSO to hand that over for outside investigation, if only to avoid the appearance of impropriety.