Friday, February 12, 2021
Continuing efforts to enact meaningful police reform in California, Assemblymember Kevin McCarty announces two critical pieces of legislation – a bill to ensure law enforcement agencies aren’t solely investigating their own officer-involved shootings and a measure to sunshine taxpayer-funded police use-o-fforce settlements.
AB 594 will require initial use-of-force investigations be led by a neighboring law enforcement agency or a multi-agency task force. The current system is fraught with conflicts of interest, and this is common sense reform. Police should not be policing themselves. This practice is used in many California cities and now is the time to enact a universal statewide policy.
AB 603 will provide greater transparency on how much each city, county and the state is spending on police abuse settlements with taxpayer dollars. This bill will require that municipalities publicly post financial details of their law enforcement use-of-force settlements annually. Taxpayer dollars for these settlements are scarce resources that should be available for other community priorities.
There is a continued need for police reform in California, and it’s crucial that we address these issues in 2021. These bills will bring greater accountability and transparency to our law enforcement agencies, and more importantly help restore public trust.
These measures follow-up on Assemblymember McCarty’s 2020 bills chaptered into law — AB 1506, CA Attorney General Deadly Force Independent Investigations, and AB 1185, Sheriff Oversight.
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