Senate Committee approves amended police transparency bill

This week, the Senate Public Safety Committee unanimously approved legislation that would, among other things, require each county district attorney’s office or police department that conducts an investigation into an incident involving the shooting of a civilian by a peace officer to report the findings of that investigation on a publicly accessible internet website within 30 days of the conclusion of the investigation.

Prior to the vote on AB 1428, by Assemblyman Evan Low (D-San Jose), the committee announced it accepted amendments to the bill offered by CNPA that would strike a provision that prohibited the reports from identifying the peace officer involved in the serious use of force or disclosing any information that could be used to identify the officer.

CNPA staff told the committee that once the amendments go into print, CNPA will change its position on the bill from oppose to support.

After Assemblyman Low accepted the amendments, the committee voted 7-0 to approve the measure.

The provision that was removed from the bill would have reversed the California Supreme Court’s ruling in a case brought by the Los Angeles Times after an officer involved shooting in the city of Long Beach. In Long Beach Police Officers Association v. City of Long Beach, the court held that the public has a right to access the names of officers involved in shootings that can only be overcome when a sufficient particularized showing of threat of harm can be made by the officer or the department.