February 19, 2020, Tamuning, Guam- The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) conducted an independent investigation into a police officer’s use of force during an arrest at Ypao Beach in December 2019, a portion of which was captured in an edited video that went viral on social media. The OAG’s investigation involved a complete review of evidence, including eye-witness testimony and the unedited video footage.
Under the law, police officers are justified in using reasonable force when making an arrest. To criminally charge an officer, not only would the OAG have to prove that a crime was committed, but they would also have to disprove the officer’s justification beyond a reasonable doubt—the highest burden of proof in our system. Based on a review of all the evidence, the OAG would not be able to meet this high burden and, therefore, cannot proceed with criminal charges.
In the interest of full transparency, the office’s investigation material is now publicly available.