As a solution to the months-long budget deficit, the California Governor introduced a new budget package that proposes an end to the public disclosure of investigations into misconduct by police officers.
Let’s read the news and learn what the California leader suggested about the budget package.
California Governor Proposes Rolling Back Police Transparency
In an effort to lower the state’s estimated $31.5 billion budget deficit, California Governor Gavin Newsom has proposed a budget package that includes an end to public disclosure of investigations into police misconduct by the state commission.
When a police officer engages in significant misbehavior, such as sexual assault, dishonesty, or the use of excessive force, the state must launch an investigation, revoke their badge, or suspend them.
The State Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training is empowered to look into allegations of misbehavior against police personnel and decertify them under the prior statute. The commission must make the decertification case files available to the public, under the law.
In a press release celebrating the earlier legislation in 2021, Newsom said,” Today marks another step toward healing and justice for all. Many individuals have lost their lives due to racial profiling and excessive use of force. We cannot change what is past, but we can create accountability, root out racial injustice, and fight systemic racism. We are all indebted to the people who have persisted through their grief to continue this battle and work toward a more just future.”
The governor’s administration has now proposed to eliminate the bill’s public transparency element. The commission asserted that the public can now get these records from local police departments.
However, the proposed bill has received criticism from public transparency advocates and criminal justice, including many stakeholders. Several groups fought for the landmark police reform bill containing these disclosure requirements.
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The law’s opponents believe that allowing these departments control over the disclosure is a huge mistake.
First Amendment Coalition Legal Director David Loy said, “California has always been a black hole for police transparency. The last thing California should be doing is taking any step backward on police transparency.”
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