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Senate bill amended to expand public’s right to access police misconduct records

Senate bill amended to expand public’s right to access police misconduct records

The author of SB 1421 in 2018, the historic bill that provided public access to police misconduct information, recently amended legislation that seeks to make more information publicly available by expanding the categories of misconduct that agencies would be required to report. 

SB 776 by Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) would expand the types of police actions that are subject to the CPRA to include every incident of use of force (not just that which causes great bodily injury), allegations of sexual assault, sustained findings of wrongful arrests and searches, as well as incidents involving prejudice or discrimination on the basis of specified protected classes.

CNPA supports SB 776.

 SB 776 would require every person employed as a peace officer to immediately report all uses of force by the officer to the officer’s department or agency. 

The bill would impose a $1,000 civil fine per day for each day beyond 30 days that records subject to disclosure are not disclosed and would entitle a requester who successfully sues for the release of records to obtain damages equal to twice the requester’s reasonable costs and attorney’s fees. 

While it has not yet been set for hearing, SB 776 is being analyzed by the Assembly Public Safety Committee where it will likely be heard by the committee the week the Assembly returns from its recess on July 27th.