I have attached the below a link to this newsletter, as well as two bills, as a single PDF for all you to review. Late 2018 PORAC was able to defeat AB930. Many of you remember the bill from my August 2018 newsletter. The intent of this bill was taking the use of force decision making away from cops throughout the State of California. Assemblywoman Shirley Weber (San Diego) essentially wants a free society — meaning no law enforcement unless it is needed by the People of the State. Her bill then named AB931 reflected a substantial change to PC 835a.
After PORAC was able to defeat the bill at the Capital, the clock was ticking to introduce our own bill to fix some outdated statutes and remain solvent with the citizens of California. Law enforcement must get in front and take an offensive position in order to essentially maintain peace officer status in regards to protecting PC 835a.
California law enforcement is engaging in an important effort to deal with the issue of our law enforcement officers' ability to use appropriate force when facing dangerous encounters. PORAC, along with nearly every law enforcement association in California, have introduced Senate Bill 230 by Senator Anna Caballero (D-Salinas). In addition to Senator Caballero, we have 17 legislators who have signed on to co-author our measure. You will see these names on the attached bill.
At the same time, Assembly member Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) has re-introduced her use-of-force bill from last year, which would criminalize an officer's split-second decisions if a judge or jury later deems the force was unwarranted or excessive. Assembly member Weber's bill is AB 392 and poses a serious threat to both our officers and the public. There is not a shadow of a doubt — Weber and all her co-authors are here to turn law enforcement officers into criminals. You will read in her introduced bill I have attached.
To begin this effort, PORAC is creating a Chapter Outreach Program for the month of March, wherein, all 14 chapter and association leaders set meetings with their legislative representatives to discuss these very important issues. Our team, which includes PORAC staff, Aaron Read & Associates, and our communications consultants, Fiona Hutton & Associates, will put together packets that will include the bills, our talking points, and position letters. Furthermore, if associations feel they need additional support with meetings, contact information, or materials, members of our team may be able to assist.
Fresno DSA is taking a position to conduct a full court press on our local delegation, and taking it a step further to assist other jurisdictions who need the support we can lend them. As I receive the materials from PORAC, I will be disseminating it out to the FDSA membership.
Fresno DSA filed a stay order (Temporary Restraining Order essentially) to block the many Public Records Request (PRA) being submitted since Jan 1, 2019. Again, as I mentioned in my previous newsletter, the bill was silent to the retroactivity of the information being requested. Many agencies were, along with the Sheriff's Office, being asked for documents relating to many employees who are no longer working here. As long as they were meeting the criteria set forth in the bill, the information was being asked for.
After consulting with our firm, Messing, Adam, and Jasmine — the decision was made to move forward with language requesting a stay order from Fresno Superior Court. The motion was filed on Friday, February 22, 2019. The court hearing was Thursday, February 28, 2019. At this hearing the stay order was granted by Judge J Hamilton. This is a glimpse of good news for the DSA and the agency itself.
As of the 28th, no records pre-Jan 1, 2019 can be released related to personnel in regards to use of force, dishonesty, sex harassment, and officer involved shootings. As we get more information in the future, I will pass on the information to the membership so everyone is updated to potential changes. The stay order is effect until September of 2019.
Please see the attachments below for SB230 and AB 392. I have also attached the petition for the TRO and order under the SB 1421 issue.
Thank you and please stay safe.