California lawmakers approve bill setting up process to revoke licenses of problem officers
The California Senate approved a bill on Wednesday setting up a process to revoke licenses from problematic police officers, according to records from the state legislature.
State Sen. Steven Bradford (D), who co-sponsored the bill, which passed by a 26-9 vote, said in a statement that its progress was “a major victor for advocates of public safety.”
“SB 2 establishes a fair and balanced way to hold officers who break the public trust accountable for their actions and not simply move to a new department,” Bradford said. “This could not have been achieved without the support of many legislators, community organizations, families, and entertainers who advocated non-stop for accountability in our policing system.”
The state Assembly passed the bill last Friday by a 49-21 vote. The bill now heads to the desk of Gov. Gavin Newsom (D).
The bill allows the state’s Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training to revoke the licenses of officers who commit “serious misconduct,” such as using excessive force, making a false arrest or sexual assault, according to its text.
It also creates a Peace Officer Standards Accountability Division within the commission to review investigations conducted by law enforcement and to conduct additional probes into serious misconduct.
The division would be required to review grounds for decertifications and make findings as to whether there is grounds to revoke an officer’s certification.
An advisory board would hold public meetings to review the officer’s findings and make a recommendation to the full commission. The commission would then need to uphold the board’s recommendation by a two-third’s vote.
The measure previously failed last year, despite heightened interest in police reform sparked by the police murder of George Floyd, according to ABC 7.
California is one of four states without a process to decertify peace officers, the bill’s text pointed out. The other three states are Hawaii, New Jersey and Rhode Island.
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