Attorney General James' Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit Releases Report on Investigation into the Death of Tina Davis

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James’ Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit (SIPU) today released its report into the death of Tina Davis. After a comprehensive investigation, SIPU did not find criminal culpability on the part of the members of the Spring Valley Police Department (SVPD) who were involved in the incident. Based on witness accounts, video evidence, and an exhaustive review of the facts, insofar as it played a role in Ms. Davis’ death, the officers’ use of physical force could not be found to be unjustified beyond a reasonable doubt.

Although SIPU found no criminal culpability in this tragic matter, there are several serious concerns about SVPD’s handling of the incident. SIPU issued a number of recommendations to address these concerns, that included the need to better train SVPD officers on how to respond to circumstances in which mental and/or medical health needs play a role in the situation they are facing. Particularly with mental health episodes, especially in areas where emergency mental health crisis workers are not available, it is important to have trained personnel respond to these types of situations. Another notable recommendation for SVPD is to implement the use of body cameras for officers. SIPU has recommended this course of action for many other departments across the state in past investigations.

“Tina Davis’ death was a tragedy, and I offer my deepest sympathies to her family and loved ones,” said Attorney General James. “After a thorough and exhaustive investigation, we determined that there was not a crime committed by the officers who responded to the incident. However, we were concerned by some of the actions and policies of the SVPD and have issued recommendations that the department should take into account, including mandating additional training for officers to handle individuals experiencing a mental health crisis and requiring that every officer be outfitted with a body camera.”