The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department says barring tear gas risks escalating physical confrontations between officers and demonstrators.
Senate Bill 629 by state Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, would protect the right of journalists to cover protests without interference from police.
SB 480 would bar law enforcement officials from wearing military-style uniforms. State Sen. Bob Archuleta, D-Pico Rivera, said that can make it difficult for civilians to distinguish officers from members of the National Guard. He said it can also sow fear and confusion, as when federal officers wore camouflage while confronting protesters in Portland, Oregon.
AB 1506 by Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, would create a new division within the state Department of Justice that, if requested by a local law enforcement agency, would investigate an officer-involved shooting or other use of force that kills a civilian. The department could also prosecute any officer it found had violated state law.
AB1185, also by McCarty, would let county supervisors name inspectors general to help oversee independently elected county sheriffs.
SB 776 by state Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, would expand a 2019 law that lifted some of the nation’s most secretive police records by requiring public access to disciplinary records involving investigations into officer shootings, use-of-force incidents and incidents involving officer misconduct.
It would add records of discipline against officers accused of racist or discriminatory actions, or those who have a history of wrongful arrests or searches, among others. Investigations would be completed even if officers resign. Records fees would be limited and fines imposed on agencies that don’t comply.
Numerous law enforcement organizations say the bill would remove a requirement that only sustained complaints be made public.
SB 731 by state Sen. Steven Bradford, D-Gardena, would allow the state Department of Justice to revoke the certification of officers if they are fired for misconduct or convicted of certain crimes, to prevent them from getting new law enforcement jobs elsewhere.
The California Police Chiefs Association, which initially supported the idea, now says the legislation “is overly complex” and would remove immunity protections for all public employees.
SB 203, also by Bradford, would would bar those who are 17 years old or younger from being questioned by police or waiving their rights until they have a chance to consult with an attorney. California currently applies those restrictions to youths 15 years or younger.