California lawmakers push for expanded chokehold ban, police misconduct panel

California
A protest over police brutality and the death of George Floyd takes place in front of North Hollywood Police Station in June, 2020. (Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times)

A protest over police brutality and the death of George Floyd takes place in front of North Hollywood Police Station in June, 2020. (Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times)

California law enforcement officers could lose their certification based on the decisions of a panel that includes victims of police misconduct under legislation that moved forward Tuesday in the Legislature, as lawmakers also supported an expansive ban on policing techniques that obstruct a person’s breathing.

An array of civil rights and police reform groups applauded passage of the bills by public safety committees in the state Senate and Assembly. Two other closely watched bills also were approved by the committees dominated by Democrats: one to offer access to California’s victims’ compensation fund for injuries sustained during law enforcement encounters and another to train officers to intervene if a colleague is using excessive force.

None of the bills, if ultimately passed by both houses and signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, would become law until next year. Some include provisions that wouldn’t take effect until 2023.

The most high-profile proposal, Senate Bill 2, would empower the state Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training to decertify peace officers who engaged in “serious misconduct,” a term to be defined by future regulation. The commission would also take action on decisions issued by a new nine-member citizen panel, only two members of which would be required to have a law enforcement background.

Read the full story at LATimes.com.

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