(1) Under existing law, the Tom Bane Civil Rights Act, if a person or persons, whether or not acting under color of law, interferes or attempts to interfere, by threats, intimidation, or coercion, with the exercise or enjoyment by any individual or individuals of rights secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or of the rights secured by the Constitution or laws of this state, the Attorney General, or any district attorney or city attorney, is authorized to bring a civil action for injunctive and other appropriate equitable relief in the name of the people of the State of California, in order to protect the exercise or enjoyment of the right or rights secured. Existing law also authorizes an action brought by the Attorney General, or any district attorney or city attorney, to seek a civil penalty of $25,000. Existing law also allows an individual whose exercise or enjoyment of rights has been interfered with to prosecute a civil action for damages on their own behalf.
The bill would eliminate certain immunity provisions for peace officers and custodial officers, or public entities employing peace officers or custodial officers sued under the act.
(2) Existing laws defines persons who are peace officers and the entities authorized to appoint them. Existing law requires certain minimum training requirements for peace officers including the completion of a basic training course, as specified. Existing law prescribes certain minimum standards for a person to be appointed as a peace officer, including moral character and physical and mental condition, and certain disqualifying factors for a person to be employed as a peace officer, including a felony conviction.
This bill would prohibit a person who has been convicted of a felony, as specified, from regaining eligibility for peace officer employment based upon any later order of the court setting aside, vacating, withdrawing, expunging or otherwise dismissing or reversing the conviction, unless the court finds the person to be factually innocent of the crime for which they were convicted at the time of entry of the order. The bill would disqualify a person from being employed as a peace officer if that person has been convicted of, or has been adjudicated in an administrative, military, or civil judicial process as having committed, a violation of certain specified crimes against public justice, including the falsification of records, bribery, or perjury. The bill would also disqualify any person who has been certified as a peace officer by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training and has surrendered that certification or had that certification revoked by the commission, or has been denied certification. The bill would disqualify any person previously employed in law enforcement in any state or United States territory or by the federal government, whose name is listed in the national decertification index, or any other database designated by the federal government, or who engaged in serious misconduct that would have resulted in their certification being revoked in this state. The bill would require a law enforcement agency employing certain peace officers to employ only individuals with a current, valid certification or pending certification.
(3) Existing law establishes the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training to set minimum standards for the recruitment and training of peace officers and to develop training courses and curriculum. Existing law authorizes the commission to establish a professional certificate program that awards basic, intermediate, advanced, supervisory, management, and executive certificates on the basis of a combination of training, education, experience, and other prerequisites, for the purpose of fostering the professionalization, education, and experience necessary to adequately accomplish the general police service duties performed by peace officers. Existing law authorizes the commission to cancel a certificate that was awarded in error or obtained through misrepresentation or fraud, but otherwise prohibits the commission from canceling a certificate that has properly been issued.
This bill would require the Department of Justice to provide the commission with necessary disqualifying felony and misdemeanor conviction data for all persons known by the department to be current or former peace officers, as specified. The bill would grant the commission the power to investigate and determine the fitness of any person to serve as a peace officer in the state. The bill would direct the commission to issue or deny certification, which includes a basic certificate or proof of eligibility, to a peace officer in accordance with specified criteria. The bill would require the commission to issue a proof of eligibility or basic certificate, as specified, to certain persons employed as a peace officer on January 1, 2022, who do not otherwise possess a certificate. The bill would declare certificates or proof of eligibility awarded by the commission to be property of the commission and would authorize the commission to suspend or revoke a proof of eligibility or certificate on specified grounds, including the use of excessive force, sexual assault, making a false arrest, or participating in a law enforcement gang, as defined.
The bill would create the Peace Officer Standards Accountability Division within the commission to review investigations conducted by law enforcement agencies and to conduct additional investigations into serious misconduct that may provide grounds for suspension or revocation of a peace officer's certification, as specified. The bill would require the division to review grounds for decertification and make findings as to whether grounds for action against an officer's certification exist. The bill would require the division to notify the officer subject to decertification of their findings and allow the officer to request review. The bill would also create the Peace Officer Standards Accountability Advisory Board with 9 members to be appointed as specified. The bill would require the board to hold public meetings to review the findings after an investigation made by the division and to make a recommendation to the commission. The bill would require the commission to review the recommendation made by the board based on whether there is evidence that reasonably supports the board's conclusion that misconduct has been established and, if action is to be taken against an officer's certification, return the determination to the division to commence formal proceedings consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act. The bill would require the commission to notify the employing agency and the district attorney of the county in which the officer is employed of this determination, as specified.
The bill would make all records related to the revocation of a peace officer's certification public and would require that records of an investigation be retained for 30 years.
The bill would require an agency employing peace officers to report to the commission the employment, appointment, or separation from employment of a peace officer, any complaint, charge, allegation, or investigation into the conduct of a peace officer that could render the officer subject to suspension or revocation, findings by civil oversight entities, and civil judgements that could affect the officer's certification.
In case of a separation from employment or appointment, the bill would require each agency to execute an affidavit-of-separation form adopted by the commission describing the reason for separation. The bill would require the affidavit to be signed under penalty of perjury. By creating a new crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The bill would require the board to report annually on the activities of the division, board, and commission, relating to the certification program, including the number of applications for certification, the events reported, the number of investigations conducted, and the number of certificates surrendered or revoked.
By imposing new requirements on local agencies, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
This bill would incorporate additional changes to Section 832.7 of the Penal Code proposed by SB 16 to be operative only if this bill and SB 16 are enacted and this bill is enacted last.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that with regard to certain mandates no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
With regard to any other mandates, this bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs so mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.Statutes affected:
03/11/21 - Amended Senate: 52.1 CIV, 1029 GOV, 832.7 PEN, 13503 PEN, 13506 PEN, 13510 PEN, 13510.1 PEN, 13512 PEN
04/29/21 - Amended Senate: 52.1 CIV, 1029 GOV, 832.7 PEN, 13503 PEN, 13506 PEN, 13510 PEN, 13510.1 PEN, 13512 PEN
05/20/21 - Amended Senate: 52.1 CIV, 1029 GOV, 832.7 PEN, 13503 PEN, 13506 PEN, 13510 PEN, 13510.1 PEN, 13512 PEN
07/07/21 - Amended Assembly: 52.1 CIV, 1029 GOV, 832.7 PEN, 13503 PEN, 13506 PEN, 13510 PEN, 13510.1 PEN, 13512 PEN
08/30/21 - Amended Assembly: 52.1 CIV, 1029 GOV, 832.7 PEN, 13503 PEN, 13506 PEN, 13510 PEN, 13510.1 PEN, 13512 PEN
09/01/21 - Amended Assembly: 52.1 CIV, 1029 GOV, 832.7 PEN, 832.7 PEN, 13503 PEN, 13506 PEN, 13510 PEN, 13510.1 PEN, 13512 PEN
09/10/21 - Enrolled: 52.1 CIV, 1029 GOV, 832.7 PEN, 832.7 PEN, 13503 PEN, 13506 PEN, 13510 PEN, 13510.1 PEN, 13512 PEN
09/30/21 - Chaptered: 52.1 CIV, 1029 GOV, 832.7 PEN, 832.7 PEN, 13503 PEN, 13506 PEN, 13510 PEN, 13510.1 PEN, 13512 PEN