Skinner bill shining light on bad cops passes State Senate

State Sen. Nancy Skinner at a press conference in the Capitol.

A bill that would require law enforcement agencies to release public information on police officers investigated for use-of-force violations and sexual assault, among other types of misconduct, passed the State Senate Wednesday.

Senate Bill 1421, introduced last month by East Bay State Sen. Nancy Skinner, now heads to the Assembly.

“Law enforcement has never been better trained or better educated and incidents of officer misconduct are decreasing, yet distrust between many communities and law enforcement continues to grow,” said Skinner, following the 25-11 vote in the state senate. “Transparency can help build the trust so needed to keep our communities safe.”

Skinner’s bill aims to shine some light into the Police Officers’ Bill of Rights, which provides great protections for law enforcement employees, but has also, at times, protected rogue cops from accountability in cases of misconduct.

Incidents when a police officer discharges a weapon resulting in death or serious injury would be subject to public records requests under the bill, as would confirmed instances of sexual assault on the job, and lying during the course of a investigation, prosecution, or report.

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