Critical Incidents and Community Briefings

The use of force by law enforcement personnel is a matter of critical concern, both to the public and to the law enforcement community. Officers are involved on a daily basis in numerous and varied interactions and, when warranted, may use reasonable force in carrying out their duties. Officers must have an understanding of, and true appreciation for, their authority and limitations. This is especially true with respect to overcoming resistance while engaged in the performance of law enforcement duties.

Investigation of the Use of Force:

The Department recognizes and respects the value of all human life and dignity without prejudice to anyone. Vesting officers with the authority to use reasonable force and to protect the public welfare requires monitoring, evaluation and a careful balancing of all interests. The Hayward Police Department objectively reviews and evaluates all reportable uses of force and reportable show of force incidents.

This department conforms to the Alameda County Officer Involved Shooting protocol for investigating officer-involved shootings.  Officer involved shootings and in-custody deaths are investigated in a thorough, fair and impartial manner.

In the event of an Officer Involved Shooting, the Hayward Police Department is responsible for the criminal investigation of the suspect's actions. In addition, the District Attorney's Office conducts an independent investigation examining the lawfulness of the involved officers’ actions. The Department’s Internal Affairs Unit, which reports directly to the chief of Police, also conducts an administrative investigation to determine conformance with Department policy.   

Objectively Reasonable: 

The reasonableness of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight. The calculus of reasonableness must embody allowance for the fact that police officers are often forced to make split-second judgments - in circumstances that are tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving - about the amount of force that is necessary in a particular situation. The test of reasonableness is not capable of precise definition or mechanical application. The force must be reasonable under the circumstances known to the officer at the time the force was used. Therefore, the Department examines all uses of force from an objective standard, rather than a subjective standard. See Graham versus Connor, 490 U.S. 386 (1989).

View information about specific Critical Incidents below:



24600 block of Oneil Avenue (map)


Incident Summary: 


On Nov. 15, 2018, Hayward police officers responded to the 24000 block of O’Neil Avenue upon receiving a 911 call for a man with a knife. Hayward police officers arrived to find 29-year-old Agustin Gonsalez in the street.  One officer exited his car and ordered Gonsalez to drop the knife.  Those orders were repeated several times and Gonsalez advanced toward an officer while holding an object in his right hand. The commands given to Gonsalez were ignored; and at that time, there was an officer-involved shooting. Gonsalez was struck by gunfire and paramedics were immediately summoned to the scene. Gonsalez was transported to a local hospital where he later died. It was determined the object in Gonsalez’ hand had been a razor blade.