Bill to Decertify Police for Serious Misconduct Clears Legislature
California built up over decades some of the strongest legal protections for law enforcement officers in the country. It’s why a Danville police officer accused of wrongfully shooting a man in 2018 was able to stay on the streets, only to kill again earlier this year. And it’s why officers who are fired for wrongdoing can sometimes quietly find a new job in another department.
California is poised to join most of the country when it comes to disciplining the worst of the worst officers. Lawmakers passed a bill Wednesday that would allow the state’s law enforcement accrediting body to decertify officers for serious misconduct — essentially kicking them out of the profession for things like sexual assault, perjury and wrongfully killing civilians.
“California and the nation as a whole has experienced tragedy after tragedy where consequences for egregious abuses of power went unpunished and cries for accountability went unanswered — eroding public trust in law enforcement,” Bradford said in a statement after the vote. “This bill is the first of its kind in California and we finally join the 46 other states with processes for the decertification of bad officers.”
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