Senate Public Safety Committee Votes in Favor of SB 1421, Senator Nancy Skinner’s Protecting Communities and Law Enforcement Bill

April 17, 2018

Senate Public Safety Committee Votes in Favor of SB 1421, Senator Nancy Skinner’s Protecting Communities and Law Enforcement Bill 

Following over an hour of emotional testimony, Senator Nancy Skinner’s (D-Berkeley) Protecting Communities and Law Enforcement bill, SB 1421, passed out of the Senate Committee on Public Safety and will now go to the Appropriations Committee. SB 1421 would make law enforcement records related to officer use of serious or deadly force, or on the job sexual assault or dishonesty available to hiring agencies and the public.

“Communities have a right to know what happens when an officer uses deadly force. Currently, unless an incident goes to court, the public may never be informed.” said Senator Skinner. “This is a sunshine ordinance; that will help build trust and accountability.”

California’s existing confidentiality rules on law enforcement records, which SB 1421 would modify, are among the most secretive in the country. Under existing law, the public and hiring agencies do not have access to internal reports or investigations into officer use of force.  These restrictions erode public trust, and can allow officers with repeated incidents to bounce from agency-to-agency, undetected.

Specifically, SB 1421 would require law enforcement agencies to give the public access to records related to:

  1. Discharge of a firearm, or use force that results in death or serious bodily injury.
  2. On the job sexual assault, including coercion or exchanging sex for lenience, or 
  3. Dishonesty in reporting, investigating, or prosecuting a crime.

“The passion we saw in today’s committee hearing shows we need better transparency to build trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve,” said Senator Skinner.


Senator Nancy Skinner (@NancySkinnerCA) represents the 9th Senate District. She serves as Chair of the Senate Public Safety Committee and the Budget Subcommittee on Corrections, Public Safety and the Judiciary.
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