The public now has access to police misconduct records, thanks to a new law.
This legislation grants access to the public of all investigations in the use of force and officer misconduct.
A state appeals court has ruled the law has immediate statewide impact.
Presiding Justice Stuart Pollak and Justices Alison Tucher and Tracie Brown upheld a decision by Superior Court Judge Charles Treat. Police groups in several counties asked the California Supreme Court to take up their case, but the court refused.
Michael Rains, the police union’s lawyer, said the ruling reflected the courts attitude that they don’t “give one hoot about the rights of police officers.”
For decades, California has had some of the nation’s most stringent confidentiality standards for police personnel records, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The new law is SB1421 by Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley.
Tenaya Rodewald, the lawyer who argued the case before the appellate court, said, “For the first time in a long time, the Legislature has decided it’s really important for public trust in law enforcement and the administration of justice in this state for people to be able to obtain records of serious incidents of police misconduct.”