Keep abusive cops out of our communities
Pass SB 2
Since the murder of George Floyd, hundreds of thousands of Californians have taken to the streets to demand an end to police brutality. We all deserve to live in communities where we feel safe and protected. Yet far too often, the people who are tasked with protecting public safety are the very ones who compromise it.
We give officers more authority than any other profession – the power to stop, search, arrest, and even use deadly force on members of our community. This power means that the state has a greater responsibility to hold these officers accountable.
California is one of only four states that has no process to decertify abusive cops. Decertification ensures those cops cannot be hired as police officers somewhere else. Over 200 other professions in California have licenses that can be revoked if they violate their licensing rules. California gives police officers a license to kill without the ability to revoke it if they abuse their authority.
The Let Us Live Coalition – a coalition of families impacted by police violence and community, legal, and advocacy organizations, has been mobilizing to stop abusive cops from acting above the law by working to pass SB 2, the Kenneth Ross Jr. Police Decertification Act of 2021. CA must create a process to remove abusive police from the streets to protect those who are targeted by police violence: Black people, indigenous people, people of color, LGBTQIA individuals, and those with disabilities.
SB 2 will improve community safety by keeping officers who commit misconduct off the streets by:
- Establishing a statewide process to automatically decertify officers who have been fired for serious misconduct such as, but not limited to, excessive force, sexual misconduct and dishonesty. For the aforementioned misconduct, the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) will also be able to retroactively revoke an officer’s certificate.
- Creating a new accountability division within POST that will independently investigate allegations of serious misconduct of officers who resign before they are fired.
- Creates a civilian-led advisory board that will review the investigations of the accountability division and make recommendations to POST as to whether an officer should be decertified. The advisory board will be composed for seven public members and two law enforcement representatives.
- Requiring local law enforcement to report fired officers to the state and ensure that during the hiring process California law enforcement agencies contact the state to find out why an officer left their previous positions.
- Adding officers who are decertified to the National Decertification Index (NDI), a national database that tracks decertified officers across state lines.
SB 2 also strengthens California’s civil rights law, the Bane Act, by removing the requirement that victims of police violence prove that officers had specific intent to violate their civil rights – an impossible bar for most cases. SB 2 would restore the burden of proof to general intent, lowering the barrier for families to seek justice. This bill will also clarify that a wrongful death at the hands of police may violate the Bane Act, allowing families to avoid federal courts and qualified immunity.
SB 2 co-sponsors include community organizations like the Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, ACLU California Action, Anti Police-Terror Project, Black Lives Matter Los Angeles, California Families United 4 Justice, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice, PolicyLink, STOP Coalition, UDW/AFSCME Local 3930, and Youth Justice Coalition.
California must act and join the 46 other states with the power to remove abusive cops from their communities and give families the opportunity to hold police officers accountable when they violate their civil rights.
Tell your legislator to support SB 2 today!
Your California State Senator