SB 2 passes in California. As the Los Angeles Times reports, Governor Gavin Newsom has signed SB 2. In addition, he signed other police reform provisions. State Attorney General Rob Bonta says these laws “will provide more trust, more transparency and more accountability.”
This is a huge win in the fight to end qualified immunity (QI).
“While Congress failed to pass police reform in face of a national crisis, California joined Colorado and New Mexico in proving better public safety is possible,” said Jerry Greenfield. Greenfield is co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream and co-chair of the Campaign to End Qualified Immunity. “California’s new law will protect people’s civil rights, build trust in public safety, and reduce police brutality.”
SB 2 is the Kenneth Ross Jr. Police Decertification Act of 2021. The bill is named in honor of a 25-year-old Black man fatally shot by police in 2018. State Senator Steven Bradford sponsored the bill. Per the Los Angeles Times, SB 2 “allows the lifetime decertification of law enforcement officers found to have engaged in misconduct.” Thus, SB 2 “establishes a fair and balanced way to hold officers who break the public trust accountable,” Senator Bradford says.
“Newsom’s approval of the slate of sweeping new legislation in California comes in contrast to a lack of progress made on police reform efforts in Congress,” the Los Angeles Times notes, echoing Greenfield’s sentiment. Last week, federal attempts at police reform, which included ending QI, failed. After months of negotiations, bipartisan talks to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act collapsed. However, state-based action continues to soar. California’s victory is a prime example.
SB 2 is a game-changer for the Golden State. The bill will strengthen public safety in California. Furthermore, it will protect the civil rights of all state citizens. As a result, many advocates and legal experts applaud this measure.
Cristine Soto DeBerry is one such legal expert. She is the executive director of Prosecutors Alliance of California, a group of progressive district attorneys. California, Soto DeBerry says, has taken “significant steps towards addressing deep injustices in our criminal legal system.” Police reform bills such as SB 2 “will help take problematic police off the streets.”
Read the entire article of SB2 passing in California here.