SB 2 Passes Senate Floor, Heads to Assembly
SACRAMENTO – Today, Senate Bill 2, authored by Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) and Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego), was approved on a vote of 26-9 on the Senate Floor. Also known as the Kenneth Ross Jr. Police Decertification Act of 2021, SB 2 aims to increase accountability for law enforcement officers that commit serious misconduct and illegally violate a person’s civil rights.
“California is able to revoke the certification or licenses of bad doctors, lawyers, and even barbers, but is unable to decertify police officers who have broken the law and violated the public trust,” said Senator Bradford. “While California prides itself on being a leader on so many issues we are so far behind on this. On the heels of the one year anniversary since the murder of George Floyd, we have a duty to the thousands of voices crying out for us to pass this bill. This is all about treating people fairly and holding those who don’t accountable. I thank the Senators for fulfilling that duty and remain committed to working with all stakeholders and my colleagues in the Assembly to see this bill become law.”
“After George Floyd’s murder, many of us joined on the steps of this building to publicly commit to fighting for racial justice and to ensuring that the laws we create here in California reflect that commitment,” said Senate President pro Tem Atkins. “We have spent the last year working closely with Senator Bradford and all stakeholders to ensure this important bill crosses the finish line. Here in California, we are delivering on the promises we made to each other and to our constituents on the steps of the Capitol one year ago.”
SB 2 creates a statewide decertification process to revoke the certification of a peace officer following the conviction of serious crimes or termination from employment due to misconduct. Additionally, SB 2 will strengthen the Tom Bane Civil Rights Act to prevent law enforcement abuses and other civil rights violations.
“This bill’s time is now. Californians deserve law enforcement that they can trust, will treat them fairly, and will be held accountable when they abuse that trust. We cannot shy away from this moment and we must pass meaningful reform,” Senator Bradford continued.
SB 2 is a priority of the CA Legislative Black Caucus and is sponsored by a coalition of community organizations including: Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, ACLU of California, Anti-Police-Terror Project, Black Lives Matter Los Angeles, California Families United 4 Justice, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice, PolicyLink, STOP Coalition, and Youth Justice Coalition.
“Removing police for our streets who kill our loved ones isn't just about justice for impacted families it's about public safety,” said Amanda Majail-Blanco, sister of Erik Salgado and member of the Let Us Live Coalition. “Our elected officials have an obligation to make policy that protects our loved ones from police who abuse their power and that keeps communities safe. It's time to pass SB 2 and hold police accountable.”
“Today, the California State Senate listened to the will of the people and passed the Kenneth Ross Jr Police Decertification Bill,” said Melina Abdullah of Black Lives Matter CA. “One year after the murder of George Floyd the people still demand justice, which begins with commonsense policy like SB 2. Black Lives Matter is committed to pushing our co-sponsored bill through the State Assembly and challenging lawmakers to not just say Black Lives Matter, but make Black Lives Matter.”
For additional policy questions on this legislation, please contact Chris Morales at firstname.lastname@example.org. For press-related inquiries, such as requests for comment/interview, please contact Austin Panush at email@example.com.
Senator Bradford is Chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus, serves as Chair of the Senate Committee on Public Safety and represents the Los Angeles County communities of Carson, Compton, Gardena, Harbor City, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Lawndale, Lennox, San Pedro, Torrance, Watts, Willowbrook, and Wilmington.