State Watch

Newsom signs police reform bill aiming to increase accountability

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Thursday signed legislation aimed at addressing police officer misconduct and increasing accountability. 

Newsom signed a total of eight bills into law, according to a press release from California’s Office of the Governor. 

These new laws will create a system that includes officers possibly losing their badges for serious misconduct incidents such as racial bias or excessive force in addition to increasing transparency surrounding misconduct records.

Additionally, Newsom’s move will also raise the minimum age of police officers from 18 to 21, ban some restraining techniques that could lead to asphyxia and establish guidelines for police officers to report if they witness their colleagues using excessive force.

“Today marks another step toward healing and justice for all,” Newsom said of the bills. “Too many lives have been lost due to racial profiling and excessive use of force. We cannot change what is past, but we can build accountability, root out racial injustice and fight systemic racism. We are all indebted to the families who have persevered through their grief to continue this fight and work toward a more just future.”

Newsom’s approval of these bills contrasts the failed negotiations in Congress that attempted to achieve a bipartisan federal plan for police reform. 

Those federal negotiations ended earlier this month over funding issues, according to GOP lawmakers. 

“We said simply this: ‘I’m not going to participate in reducing funding for the police after we saw major city after major city defund the police,’” Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) said on CBS News’s “Face the Nation.” 

But Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who was part of the reform negotiations with Scott, said the failed plans would have allocated more money to police resources.

“We want to help officers with mental health issues. We want to collect more data, so we should give more resources,” Booker said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” 

Tags California Cory Booker defund the police Gavin Newsom police reform Tim Scott

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