The unions that represent the Los Angeles and San Francisco police departments expressed their gratitude Tuesday after a bill that would have decertified law enforcement officers convicted of engaging in serious misconduct failed to move forward in the Assembly last night.
“We are pleased that the late-session rush to enact a flawed bill that would have had debilitating repercussions for police officers and public safety was not voted upon,” said Craig Lally, the president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League. “It is more important to get it right and not rushed, and we pledge our cooperation to work collaboratively with like-minded stakeholders and the Legislature to get it right.”
The bill was SB 731, authored by Sen. Steven Bradford, D-Los Angeles, which would have also established a statewide system to track police officers who have been involved in serious misconduct. Bradford said he hoped the bill would have been given “the debate it rightfully deserved.”
“Deadlines in the second year of a session are always short, but in years past that has not prevented us from acting on major legislation,” Bradford said. “To ignore the thousands of voices calling for meaningful police reform is insulting. Today, Californians were once again let down by those who were meant to represent them.”
The police unions sent a letter last week to Gov. Gavin Newsom, Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon that stated the unions want to work with state officials and that they support a national database of officers fired for gross misconduct, but they said they want a “fair process” in doing so.
“We support the adoption of specific violations that constitute gross misconduct where a potential decertification process could commence,” the letter stated. “We support working with all stakeholders to ensure a fair peace officer decertification process that codifies fundamental and appropriate due process for accused officers and a fair and reasonable appeals process similar to other professions in California.”
The unions said they would want an independent decertification panel to be composed of people “able to objectively evaluate the evidence and circumstances of each case brought before the panel.”
The unions stated they have repeatedly worked toward enacting policies, procedures, protocols and laws to improve police and community outcomes.
More information about the unions’ proposals can be found at www.InvestInPolicing.com.
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