AB 1599 by Assemblymember Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo), a bill to improve access to police misconduct information, made it out of the Assembly Public Safety Committee on Tuesday in a unanimous vote. This bill seeks to close an important loophole that allows officers to keep records associated with investigations of sexual misconduct private by quitting before the investigation is completed.
Under current law, police misconduct records are required to be disclosed under the California Public Records Act, including:
1) when there is a sustained finding of sexual misconduct,
2) when there is a sustained finding of an act of dishonestly like perjury, falsifying evidence, or other similar act that compromises an individual’s due process rights, and
3) when there is a serious use of force which could lead to injury or death.
This bill draws a narrow, but important distinction that will help ensure officers who commit sexual assaults will not be able to continue to victimize the public in a different jurisdiction simply because they quit before the investigation into alleged sexual misconduct is completed.