Three months after the police killing of George Floyd ignited national outrage and filled California streets with protesters, the Legislature is in the final hours of a session that is poised to deliver a much more modest law enforcement reform agenda than many expected.
More than a dozen bills regarding police accountability and oversight were introduced in the weeks after Floyd, a black man, was killed by a Minneapolis police officer who placed his knee on Floyd’s neck in May.
But weeks later, legislators are lukewarm on passing some of those reforms. Backers blame several factors, from external sources — a shortened session due to the coronavirus and the urgency of focusing on wildfires — to fierce opposition from law enforcement unions, which have long been major power players in Sacramento.
Some of the measures that failed to advance include a proposed law to require fellow officers to intervene if they witnessed excessive force, a plan to streamline oversight boards of sheriff’s departments and an attempt to further constrict how police use deadly force.
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