On Wednesday September 1, the Police Reform Act of Assembly Member Chris Holden, AB 26, passed its final hurdle in the Legislature.
By News Desk
AB 26 sets clear guidelines for the responsibility and accountability of the police when they witness excessive force by another law enforcement member. Governor Newsom has until October 10 to sign the law.
California law requires police to intercede when they observe that another officer is using force that exceeds what is necessary, but there are no universal measures used to determine that a police officer has indeed interceded. In the case of George Floyd, a lawyer for one of the accused junior officers argued that there was an intervention because the junior officer asked the watch officer whether he should return Floyd from his side.
Assembly member Chris Holden said:
Today’s vote is a big step forward for police responsibility and accountability. Establishing these core values ââis critical to building the eroded public trust between law enforcement and communities across California.
If AB 26 becomes law, police officers would be required to intervene when they witness excessive force under updated guidelines and report the incident in real time to the dispatcher or shift supervisor. The officer’s due process will be protected as the employing agency will review the evidence and determine whether the offending officer has met the standard of intervention. Retaliation against officers who report violations of the law or regulations of another officer to a supervisor would be prohibited.
Last year, Gov. Newsom’s police advisers released their recommendations, which included legislation to “compel officers to intervene to prevent or prevent other officers from using excessive force, making false arrests or other inappropriate behavior â.
The full text of the legislation is available here.