Although California is often thought of as a beacon of progressive values, the Golden State is actually one of the most secretive states when it comes to information about police use of force and serious and confirmed misconduct by police. This must change.
The public has a fundamental right to know about cases in which officers have been found guilty of committing sexual assault or dishonesty during the investigation, reporting, or prosecution of crimes. That includes confirmed instances of officers lying, planting evidence, or falsifying police reports. Equally important is access to records related to police shootings and other serious or deadly uses of force. We give law enforcement officers tremendous power to stop, detain, arrest, and even use force on members of our communities.
We, the people, have a fundamental right to know how police use — and abuse — these powers. It's time we reclaim that right with SB 1421.