Skinner’s Police Records Bill Greatly Expands the Availability to the Public of Police Records Regarding Misconduct

October 12, 2021

Last week Governor Newsom signed SB 16, legislation that significantly expands public access to police misconduct records and strengthens communities’ ability to hold law enforcement agencies accountable.

Building on SB 1421 signed in 2018, which opened access to a limited set of police records in California for the first time in more than 40 years, SB 16 expands the categories of police records the public can access and closes loopholes that keep misconduct records under wraps.

“SB 1421 was narrow, just three types of misconduct,” Senator Nancy Skinner told the Vanguard in a phone interview on Friday.  “When we think about public safety, there are officers that we rely on to serve our communities and to ensure public safety.

“They can only do it if they have the trust of the community…  The purpose of transparency in police conduct is to help build back that trust.. and as they say, sunshine is one of the best disinfectants.”

 

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