California looking at more police reforms after Derek Chauvin verdict | #College. | #Students



George Floyd’s killing prompted legislation in California aimed at reforming policing, but several of those measures stalled last year without becoming law.

Although a Minnesota jury’s conviction of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who killed Floyd, on murder and manslaughter charges provided justice in that case, legislative work in California is far from finished, lawmakers said Tuesday.

“We have a moral obligation to right the historic wrongs of these racist policies and practices that continue to plague this state and this nation,” said state Sen. Steven Bradford, D-Gardena (Los Angeles County), who chairs the California Legislative Black Caucus. “The time is now for us to act. No more kneeling and social media posts. We’ve had enough of the performative acts.”

Bradford carried one of the measures that failed to pass the Legislature last year — a bill that would have revoked the professional certification of officers who use excessive force, commit sexual assault, make a false arrest or commit ethical violations such as falsifying evidence. Bradford called its failure to receive even a vote in the full Legislature “insulting” to “the thousands of voices calling for meaningful police reform.”

He’s trying again this year, one of several attempts to push changes in law enforcement practices through the Democratic-dominated Legislature. Here are some of the bills lawmakers are considering:

Decertifying officers: Bradford is trying again to pass a decertification bill that is similar to the one that didn’t get a vote last year.

SB2 would create a process to decertify an officer who has committed civil rights violations. California is one of only four states that lack such a decertification system, Bradford said. A big difference this year: The measure is backed by state Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, D-San Diego. Law enforcement organizations intensely opposed the bill last year, arguing that it set the standard too low for when officers could lose their badges.

Police line up along Market Street in San Francisco on June 5, 2020, during a Critical Mass bike protest against the killing of George Floyd.

Patricia Chang / Special to the SFGATE

911 response: State Sen. Sydney Kamlager, D-Los Angeles, has reintroduced a measure she championed in the Assembly last year known as the Crisis Act. AB118 would create a pilot program that “would send community-based organizations out into the field to respond to 911 calls, so that law enforcement doesn’t have to do that,” she said.

Kamlager said 70% of calls to 911 are nonviolent and noncriminal in nature. Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed her bill last year, saying the Office of Emergency Services “is not the appropriate location for the pilot program.” This year, Kamlager hopes to house the program in the Department of Social Services.

Officers who intervene: Assembly Member Chris Holden, D-Pasadena, is carrying AB26, designed to protect officers who intervene when they see a colleague using excessive force. He introduced a similar measure last year, but it was bottled up in committee.

“Chauvin’s crime was brazen and demonstrated total disregard for the sanctity of life for George Floyd,” Holden said Tuesday. “Equally equally troubling was the conduct of the officers who stood by and watched as George Floyd’s life was taken from him by Officer Chauvin. They did not intervene.”

Increase minimum age: Assembly Member Reggie Jones-Sawyer, D-Los Angeles, is carrying AB89, which would increase the minimum age for peace officers to 25 years old from the current 18. Applicants younger than 25 could qualify if they received a bachelor’s or advanced degree from a college or university.

“We’re always talking about the bad apples,” Jones-Sawyer said, “but nobody ever talks about the tree. The bad apples had to come from somewhere. This gets to the root of the fruit.”





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