Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill SB1421 that allows the public to view investigations of officer shootings, serious use of force, sexual misconducts, and lying. Police officer privacy had been protected by California confidentiality laws that prohibit the public to know what typically occurs during the investigations of these misconducts and their outcomes. This bill will finally emphasis the struggle that has exist over years between the public rights to know and officers’ individual rights to privacy. This bill will benefit the public interest by discovering the accountability, bias misconducts, and dishonesty from police officers.
The argument made by the opposition is that SB1421 doesn’t clarify if police agencies should release records prior to January 1, 2019. In particular the police unions and Los Angeles Police Protective League are against retroactively cases prior to this bill. Which is why many police departments have destroyed and shred many cases, they believe it violates police officers rights and privacy. In an article release by the Desert Sun News “police departments are concern that retroactively bringing cases will open up public records that could expose them to civil lawsuits they cannot afford.” The police unions think it would be unjustified to bring back cases retroactively because it can expose officers to prosecutions for actions that were completely legal at the time but are illegal now.
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Therefore, the second argument against SB1421 was emphasis by an article release by KQED that explains how police officers are extremely frustrate with this new bill by saying that “releasing such records could change law enforcement when they face situations with force”. Police unions believe that it might discourage officers from going into dangerous situations where their help is needed and would take away their ability to react efficiently and effectively. The article states that “Officers will be thinking, ‘Should I really be doing this?” Overall police officers will be worried about their image to the public and how they will be judge. This records will be exposes to the media, public and family.
The strongest argument in the opposition is done by the California police union who are ready to battle for police officers privacy in court. In an article release by LA Times says “the unions argued that it would violate the officer’s right to privacy, especially if their personal information is given in the reports”. Attorney General Xavier Becerra supports police privacy and argues that by releasing police records it overturns a longstanding law granting police special privacy protections.
In an article release by KTLA5 he says” I’ve always taken the position that when it comes to privacy, you get one chance to do it right and if you disclose someone’s private information and you were wrong, you can’t un-ring that bell, that private information is now out there for everyone to see and you cannot pull it back.” Being a police officer is hard and you get so much power and are confronted with situations that can be life or dead. Police officer always get threaten by many people about their life, family, and other things that can affect them. By releasing this records you are exposing this officers to harm whether they did the right thing or wrong.
Therefore California police union is ready to battle for police officers’ privacy in court. The first argument against SB 1421 in an article release by LA Times “is that it would violate the officer’s right to privacy, especially if their personal information is given in the reports”. According to an article release by KQED “they say police union is frustrate with this new bill” by releasing such records it could change law enforcement when they face situations with force. They also say “it might discourage police from going into dangerous situations where their help is needed. It would take
In addition, LA Times believes bill 1421 is a moved towards increasing trust between law enforcement and the public. Melina Abdullah, a professor of Pan-African Studies at Cal State L.A. and a member of the Black Lives Matter movement says’’ “For years, black, brown, indigenous, and poor communities have been subjected to systemic harassment, violence and brutality by police but left little recourse to pursue justice.” In an article release by KTVU they say the American civil liberty union people will be able to see and evaluate the quality of the investigation, people have the right to know the quality of the investigation the government is doing into police misconducts and other allegations. This information is critical for the community to have faith in law enforcement. By releasing this records the public is allow to see if police officers are being bias and racial profiling any type of race.
The number of cases The officer “stopped drivers without reasonable suspicion, based on nothing more than the fact they were leaving the parking lot of a bar. He mocked the drivers he pulled over, … recorded evidence of impairment that did not objectively exist, and arrested them without probable cause.