He added that he considers his efforts championing police oversight and reform as a way to better protect law enforcement who do their jobs properly by building trust with the community. And, he said, threats like this won't deter the work of the Legislature.
“People are still going to want those reforms, whether I'm here or not,” Jones-Sawyer said. “And so, that's what makes it so perplexing. I can't think they think that coming after me will scare the rest of my colleagues from not trying to push for more reforms. In fact, they may push even more so.”
CCPOA was an influential political player in the 1990s and early 2000s, as California passed a slew of tough-on-crime sentencing laws, which they supported and, in the case of ballot measures, often bankrolled. Those laws, including California's three strikes measure, helped drive up the state's prison population, led to the construction of new prisons and swelled CCPOA’s ranks and political power.
The union seemed to recede from the political scene over the past decade and a half, as California worked to comply with a U.S. Supreme Court order to reduce its prison population — and as voters, as well as state leaders, embraced more progressive criminal justice policies.
Nevertheless, CCPOA did spend $4 million in independent expenditures to support the 2018 election bids of Gov. Gavin Newsom and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond. And the video — along with other recent campaign finance contributions — indicates that CCPOA plans to assert itself more.
“Today marks the first day of a new direction for our association,” the narrator says as the video opens. He goes on to pledge support to lawmakers “not afraid to stand with law enforcement."
In addition to the $106,000 in independent expenditures made this month on behalf of Jones-Sawyer's challenger, Efren Martinez, CCPOA also made nearly $150,000 in campaign contributions on a single day in August to a wide range of lawmakers and to both the Democratic and Republican state parties.