SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The city of Sacramento has hired Dwight White as the first-ever inspector general to investigate police use-of-force cases. The position was created in the wake of last year's widespread protests following the death of George Floyd.
White, an attorney and a certified Illinois lead homicide investigator, will be in charge of conducting independent investigations into allegations of police misconduct involving force and sexual assault incidents.
"This work means a lot to me. I moved across the country because I thought it was so important, and I've decided to make it my life's work," he said.
The 33-year-old previously worked as an investigator in Chicago's Civilian Office of Police Accountability.
Now, White will be part of Sacramento's Office of Public Safety Accountability.
"I'm extremely passionate about these issues, about the outcome of these cases, and I really think that everything that happened last year and what's happening this week with the George Floyd trial really highlights the importance of this work and highlights the importance of this position," White noted.
Three years ago, the city of Sacramento experienced months of protests after two police officers shot and killed Stephon Clark in his grandmother's backyard when they mistook his cellphone for a gun.
White will be in charge of reviewing cases like these in hopes of improving police transparency and accountability.
"I will issue findings and possible recommendations, but I can't actually discipline or educate or fire a police officer. That's the role of the city manager," White explained.
The newly created inspector general position is part of the city's police reform package approved last summer following national protests against police brutality.
Sacramento Mayor Darell Steinberg first shared the news about White’s hiring on his Twitter.
Several people responded by saying this is another example of police policing each other, but the new inspector general said these are false claims.
"I was a police cadet for three years in Chicago, and that's not a sworn position. It's almost like an internship in college to get college students familiar with the law enforcement environment, but that wasn't a sworn position," he added.
White has been in the position for a month now and hopes his work as an investigator will be the first step towards creating greater transparency in police departments.