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CA Supreme Court rejects police union's last minute appeal to gut transparency law



Today the California Supreme Court rejected a last-ditch effort to weaken Senate Bill 1421 that will allow added transparency to police records, particularly as it relates to police misconduct. 

The legislation, which was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on September 30 gives the public additional access to police records not previosuly accessible. The Supreme Court rejected the petition in a one-sentence ruling. 

The petition filed on December 18 by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Employees’ Benefit Association sought to make the records accessible only applicable to those created after January 1, 2019, the effective date of the legislation. A coalition of media organization led by the San Rafael-based First Amendment Coalition that included KQED, the Los Angeles Times and California Newspaper Publishers Associaton filed a brief opposing the police union's petition. 

“This is a great result for transparency and for the public,” FAC Executive Director David Snyder said. “We’re grateful the Supreme Court saw through the union’s Hail Mary effort to weaken this law, which will allow broad public access to police misconduct files.”

Among local legislators, Sen. Dr. Richard Pan (D - Sacramento) and Assemblymember Ken Cooley (D - Rancho Cordova) voted in favor, while Assemblymember Jim Cooper (D - Elk Grove) voted against the legislation. The bill was introduced by Sen. Nancy Skinner (D - Berkeley). 









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