Police Transparency & Accountability (SB 1286)

California is one of the most secretive states around incidents of police misconduct and excessive use of force. In places like Texas, Kentucky, and Utah, peace officer records are made public when an officer is found guilty of misconduct. Other states make records public regardless of whether misconduct is found. This is not the case in California.

Senate Bill 1286 will increase government transparency, improve accountability, and ultimately restore Californians’ trust in law enforcement. The legislation will make available critical information on how police operate – from public access to records on the most serious use of force incidents to insight into how police departments deal with confirmed cases of misconduct.

A lack of transparency in California has harmed public trust in law enforcement, particularly within the communities that suffer the most from police harassment and brutality. Sadly, only 30% of Americans (10% percent of African Americans) believe that law enforcement agencies are doing a good or excellent job of holding police officers accountable for misconduct.

Recently, the nation has seen far too many Black people killed at the hands of law enforcement, placing excessive use of force against communities of color in the spotlight. Since law enforcement officers have the power to take a life based on a split-second decision, information about how that power has been used or abused should not be hidden from public view. SB 1286 is long overdue.

Author:
Senator Mark Leno

Bill Status [Dead]

Updates
Held: Senate Appropriations Committee (5/27/17)
Approved: Senate Public Safety Committee (4/12/17)
Introduced (2/19/16)

Learn more

Fact sheet: SB 1286

New Legislation Increases Transparency in Law Enforcement Records (Feb. 19, 2016)