Police Decertification Bill

Senate Bill 2, Police Decertification Bill

Senator Bradford and Pro Tem Atkins Introduce Police Decertification Bill

December 07, 2020

SACRAMENTO ­– Today, Senator Bradford (D-Gardena) and Senate President pro Tempore Atkins (D-San Diego) introduced Senate Bill 2 to increase accountability for law enforcement officers that commit serious misconduct and illegally violate a person’s civil rights.

“The time is now to pass meaningful and common-sense police reform,” said Senator Steven Bradford. “California is able to revoke the certification or licenses of bad doctors, lawyers, teachers, and even barbers, but is unable to decertify police officers who have broken the law and violated the public trust. It’s time for California to join the majority of the nation and create a process to decertify bad officers. I look forward to working with Pro Tem Atkins, my colleagues, and all stakeholders to have this bill signed into law.”

“The goal of SB 2 is to improve public safety and protect our communities, particularly communities of color who are disproportionately impacted by police misconduct. At the end of last session, Senator Bradford and I committed to our colleagues and constituents that we would bring back legislation that holds police officers who engaged in serious misconduct accountable. With the new session beginning, we are making good on our word,” said Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins. “We look forward to working closely with the California Legislative Black Caucus and other stakeholders to ensure this important bill becomes law, making our communities safer for all Californians.”

SB 2 will create 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.

California is one of only five states in the nation that does not have the authority to decertify law enforcement officers who have committed serious misconduct. Other states, such as Florida and Georgia, have led the nation in police officer decertification by inquiring into misconduct without regard to conviction for certain offenses.

SB 2 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.

“When police kill and abuse our community members, decertifying them—taking away their badges—is literally the least we can do,” said Dr. Melina Abdullah, co-founder of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles.

Earlier this year, Senator Bradford authored Senate Bill 731, also known as the Kenneth Ross, Jr. Police Decertification Act of 2020, which failed passage on the Assembly Floor. The bill was not brought up for a vote due to the legislative deadline imposed by the California State Constitution. SB 731 was a priority of the California Legislative Black Caucus and supported by a broad coalition of organizations, community activists, and celebrities.

“This issue is personal to me as the Vice Chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus and currently the only Black member of the State Senate,” Senator Bradford continued. “We have felt the consequences of bad policing in the 35th Senate District with the recent killings of Kenneth Ross, Jr. and Andres Guardado. SB 2 will ensure that these officers are held accountable for their actions and are not be allowed to simply move to a different department and bring injustice to another community.”

Kenneth Ross, Jr. was a 25-year-old African-American who was shot and killed by a Gardena police officer in April 2018. The officer who shot and killed Kenneth Ross was the last officer to arrive on the scene, but was the only officer who perceived a threat sufficient to discharge a weapon. Mr. Ross was unarmed and running from officers when shot, and he died at the scene. The officer who killed Mr. Ross was involved in prior shootings and has not been prosecuted for this incident.

“My son, Kenneth Ross, Jr., was murdered on April 11, 2018 by a Gardena police officer who had shot three other people and had no business with a badge and a gun,” said Fouzia Almarou. “If he had been decertified after the first person he shot, Kenneth would likely still be alive to raise my grandson and be with me and his siblings.” 

For additional policy questions on this legislation, please contact Chris Morales at [email protected]. For press-related inquiries, such as requests for comment/interview, please contact Austin Panush at [email protected].

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Senator Bradford represents the Los Angeles County communities of Carson, Compton, Gardena, Harbor City, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Lawndale, Lennox, San Pedro, Torrance, Watts, Willowbrook, and Wilmington

Source: https://sd35.senate.ca.gov/news/2020-12-07-senator-bradford-and-pro-tem-atkins-introduce-police-decertification-bill

Peaceful post-election protests held in Long Beach, Los Angeles (11/4/20)

Demonstrators march through downtown Los Angeles protesting police brutality and President Trump on Wednesday evening, November 4, 2020. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

By HUNTER LEE | [email protected] and DAVID ROSENFELD | [email protected] | PUBLISHED: November 4, 2020 at 5:53 p.m. | UPDATED: November 5, 2020 at 8:21 a.m.

A smattering of peaceful election-related rallies were held across Los Angeles County on Wednesday, Nov. 4, as the result of the presidential election the day prior remained unclear.

The protests marked a shift from the night before, when Los Angeles Police Department officers arrested about 40 people and cited about 30 others protesting near Staples Center and at downtown intersections after declaring several unlawful assemblies in the area.

About 70 people gathered in front of Long Beach City Hall for a peaceful protest Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, following the long-awaited election of both local and national leaders. The protest was organized by local organizations including DSA Long Beach, Long Beach Forward, BLM LBC and Long Beach Immigrants Rights Coalition. (Hunter Lee, Press-Telegram/SCNG)

In Long Beach on Wednesday afternoon, about 70 people gathered in front of City Hall for a protest that was organized by left-leaning local organizations, including DSA Long Beach, Long Beach Forward, Black Lives Matter Long Beach and the Long Beach Immigrants Rights Coalition.

As results continued to trickle in for the presidential contest between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, with no clear winner, much of the protest focused on the work that must be carried out at the local level.

“Regardless of who wins the (ultimate) office of U.S. politics, we still have work to do,” Audrena Redmond, an organizer with Black Lives Matter Long Beach, said. “Regardless of won last night in any city elected position or national position, we have to be there to hold them true to our progressive principals.”

Jimelet Ochoa, a community organizer for LBIRC, agreed.

“This isn’t about the election,” Ochoa said. “This is about the power we can build together. This is about organizing, about being intentional with what we want to see in this world.”

In downtown Los Angeles, a smaller crowd gathered.

About 30 people stood at the corner of Fifth and Hill streets shortly after 4 p.m. Wednesday, preparing to March through downtown.

Michelle Xai, an organizer with Refuse Fascism, which called for the protest, said the group had one demand — and that was to remove the president from office.

“Our strategy is mass sustained nonviolent protests in the street,” Xai, 28, said.

Xai said the march was meant to reach out to people who might be feeling confused, anger or saddened.

“We want to let them know we don’t have to feel defeated in this moment,” she said, “and we have a chance to change the way this is going.”

There didn’t appear to be any rallies supporting the president in L.A. County Wednesday.

In Long Beach, protesters said the rally was just a hint of what’s to come. The organizers of the protest invited residents to join them again at city hall Saturday, Nov. 7, when other events are expected to be held nationwide.

Staff writer Jonah Valdez contributed to this report.

People’s Budget coalition rallies in Long Beach (7/20/20)

Each year, the coalition presents its demands for the city’s annual spending plan. The City Council must adopt Long Beach’s fiscal year budget by Oct. 1.

A coalition of community organizers gathered at Cesar E Chavez Park in Downtown Long Beach Saturday evening, July 18, 2020, calling again for the city to adopt the People’s Budget. (Hunter Lee, Press-Telegram/SCNG)

By HUNTER LEE | [email protected] and HAYLEY MUNGUIA | [email protected] |PUBLISHED: July 20, 2020 at 6:05 p.m. | UPDATED: July 20, 2020 at 6:06 p.m.

A coalition of community organizers gathered at Cesar E. Chavez Park in downtown Long Beach has rekindled its call for the city to implement the People’s Budget, a budget proposal by community-led organizations that aims to reflect the needs and priorities of residents.

Members of the coalition — comprising various groups, including Black Lives Matter LBC, Invest in Youth Long Beach Campaign, Sanctuary Long Beach Coalition, Language Access Coalition, Housing Justice Coalition and Long Beach Gray Panthers – reminded attendees what the People’s Budget is all about before embarking on a short march on Saturday evening, July 18.

The coalition called on the Long Beach City Council in June to divert taxpayer dollars from the Police Department to initiatives to improve the lives of people in communities of color.

“We’re here to call on Mayor Robert Garcia, City Manager Tom Modica and the rest of the City Council to adopt the People’s Budget,” said Audrena Redmond, of Black Lives Matter LBC.

A coalition of community organizers gathered at Cesar E Chavez Park in Downtown Long Beach Saturday evening, July 18, 2020, calling again for the city to adopt the People’s Budget. (Hunter Lee, Press-Telegram/SCNG)

Each year, the coalition presents its demands for the city’s annual spending plan. The City Council must adopt Long Beach’s fiscal year budget by Oct. 1.

“It’s important for the entire community to have a voice in the budget process, and we welcome the people’s budget and their proposals,” said Diana Tang, Chief of Staff to Mayor Garcia. “Over the last few years, many of their recommendations have been supported by the Mayor and adopted by the city council.”

The first People’s Budget proposal was presented in 2018, when activists called for $250,000 for the city’s deportation defense fund; more than $1 million for language access, including hiring more bilingual city staffers; and more funding for youth programming, among other demands.

Most of those requests were adopted into the budget, including $250,000 for legal defense for immigrants and $200,000 for a new youth fund. But the City Council that year only approved $160,000 for language access programs.

Last year, the People’s Budget coalition offered more specific requests for language access: $180,000 to increase staffing for the city’s language access coordinator program; $100,000 to increase pay for bilingual employees who have frequent contact with the public; and $200,000 for interpretation and translation services beyond what’s available during normal business operations, such as during City Council meetings.https://d10eca11bce78c6d18706c09a8f6529a.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

The city’s 2019-20 budget didn’t go that far. Rather, it included $80,000 and a full-time hire for the Language Access Program. But officials said other demands included in activists’ wish list, such as bilingual skills pay and translation services, are already built into the budget.

This year, the activists’ focus is on defunding the Police Department amid nationwide conversations over systemic racism, law-enforcement policies that many people say discriminate against Black and Latino communities, and how to create a more equitable society.

While protesters took to the streets for a march through downtown Long Beach, a car caravan gathered outside the park’s community center took a similar route with windows adorned with signs reading “Adopt the People’s Budget,” and “Black Lives Matter.”

Around 70 protesters took a moment to share stories and speeches when the group reached the intersection of Pine Avenue and Ocean Boulevard, and ended their march with a final chant outside City Hall.

In the current fiscal year, 44% of Long Beach’s $556 million budget went to the Police Department, or $243.8 million. The city’s Health Department, public libraries, Public Works Department, and Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine received 17%, or $93.5 million.

“We deserve affordable housing, we deserve an education that won’t fail us, we deserve clean air and water for our city,” Redmond said. “And we’re here to remind [city officials] that we’re not going to stop.”

Original link: https://www.presstelegram.com/2020/07/20/peoples-budget-coalition-rallies-in-long-beach/