Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill on Sunday making certain police misconduct records public. This opens up officer misconduct records to attorneys, the media and members of the public in 2019.
Current law designates all peace officer or custodial officer personnel records as confidential and prohibits the disclosure of those records in any criminal or civil proceeding, except by discovery.
Senate Bill 1421, from Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, allows the public to access officer misconduct records in most cases. In certain cases where the release of records would result in an unwarranted invasion of privacy, the records can be withheld.
In addition, during active investigations, the release of records can be delayed.
“When incidents such as a police shooting occurs, the public has a right to know that there was a thorough investigation,” Skinner said in a statement. “Without access to such records, communities can’t hold our public safety agencies accountable.”