Stall tactics. Distractions. Lobbying. How police reform was derailed in California

September 2, 2020

Law enforcement interests also set their sights on a measure, SB 776, by state Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), to open more police personnel records to the public.

But with lawmakers facing a massive budget deficit, wildfires, eviction cliffs, unemployment and the pandemic, police reform competed for attention in the subsequent weeks. Not even protests around the shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin in recent days brought the early momentum back.

On the night lawmakers ended their session, L.A. Sheriff’s deputies shot and killed a Black man in South Los Angeles, but by then, everything was happening too fast.

“All the sudden so many other things were distracting the public and distracting the members,” said Skinner. “Did [law enforcement] take advantage of it? To a degree, but yet they didn’t have to take advantage. It just happened.”


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