During the 2019-2020 Legislative Session, the California State Assembly proactively started addressing the culture that allows and leads to police misconduct; it also worked toward ending the systemic racism present in law enforcement. Many of the bills listed below became law and others need to be revisited starting in 2021. While there is still much work to be done, these were all efforts by the Assembly to save lives and provide equal protection under the law to all Californians.
AB 392 (Weber):This bill redefined and raised the use-of-force standard followed by California law enforcement agencies by which deadly force can be used. Thanks to AB 392, officers can only use deadly force when it is necessary in the defense of human life. It also emphasizes the use of de-escalation techniques during arrests. Signed by the Governor.
SB 230 (Caballero): This bill created new standards in de-escalation techniques for law enforcement and set a statewide standard for law enforcement training on de-escalation techniques, implicit and explicit bias, cultural competency, reasonable alternatives to deadly force, interacting with vulnerable populations. It also creates a new duty for officers to report if they see another officer use excessive force—the necessity of which was just demonstrated with the murder of George Floyd by one officer while three additional officers looked on. Signed by the Governor.
AB 1196 (Gipson): Law enforcement would no longer be allowed to use any type of carotid restraint, which cuts off blood supply to the brain, so the detainee goes unconscious by any peace officer employed by that agency. Signed by the Governor.
AB 2542 (Kalra): Would prohibit the state from seeking a criminal conviction or sentence on the basis of race, ethnicity, or national origin. On the Governor’s Desk.
SB 94 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review): Body camera footage provides the public with a clearer picture into real time events and actions. This bill set a maximum timeline for law enforcement to disclose body camera footage to no more than 45 days. Signed by the Governor.
AB 1215 (Ting): The right to privacy is fundamental in California. This bill prohibits law enforcement from connecting body cameras to facial recognition systems that scan image databases automatically (i.e. mug shots). Signed by the Governor.
AB 1600 (Kalra): If a police officer has a history of misconduct, a criminal defendant has the right to that information. This bill shortened the notice timeline for criminal defendants to discover police officer misconduct records from 16 to 10 days. Signed by the Governor.
SB 1220 (Umberg): This bill requires law enforcement agencies to provide a list of officers who have had sustained findings of misconduct, criminal offenses, or are facing criminal prosecution to prosecutors. On the Governor’s Desk.
AB 1299 (Salas): Requires law enforcement agencies to notify POST when an officer is terminated or resigns in lieu of termination. On the Governor’s Desk.
SB 94 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review): Requires the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST), that sets minimum standards for police training and selection, to prepare an annual report on the overall effectiveness for peace officer training. Signed by the Governor.
SB 399 (Atkins): Requires the proTem and Speaker each appoint a non-peace officer member to POST. Signed by the Governor.
The 2019-20 State Budget provides $34.9 million to restore funding levels and provide training for law enforcement. Prioritizes $20 million of the funding in each of the following two fiscal years for the use of force and de-escalation training. Signed by the Governor.
AB 846 (Burke): Requires evaluations of peace officers to include an evaluation of bias against specified protected characteristics and requires POST to update materials. On the Governor’s Desk.
AB 1185 (McCarty): This would allow counties to create sheriff oversight boards to ensure civilian review of law enforcement, and to appoint inspectors general, either by a vote of the board of supervisors or county residents. On the Governor’s Desk.
AB 2054 (Kamlager): Establishes a pilot grant program to expand participation of community organizations in emergency response for vulnerable populations. On the Governor’s Desk.
SB 480 (Archuleta): Prohibits law enforcement from authorizing employees to wear a uniform made from camouflage material or substantially similar to a uniform of the US Armed Forces. On the Governor’s Desk.
SB 629 - 2019-20 (McGuire) Changes how the media is treated at civil protests. On the Governor’s Desk.
AB 1506 (McCarty): Specifies that a State Prosecutor shall investigate officer involved shootings where an unarmed citizen dies. Creates a division within the Department of Justice to review the use-of-force policy of the agency. On the Governor’s Desk.
Part 1: Criminal Justice Reform
We spoke with Asm. Gipson, a member of the Legislative Black Caucus, and his guest Eva Tak, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and former police lieutenant, on racial inequality and the role police can play moving forward.
Part 2: Inclusion & Diversity
In a time when nationwide protests hit home across California, Assemblymembers are listening to the experts and their communities to bring forth reformative policies to promote inclusion and diversity in the democratic process.
Part 3: How We Fight
In Part 3, How We Fight, we discuss legislation, community organizing, police abolishment, Black economic investment, and the 2nd Amendment as just a few in the long list of tools needed to dismantle structural racism and white supremacy.