SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A bill making its way through the state Capitol aims to create a more transparent system for reviewing officer-involved shootings.
The aftermath of high-profile cases has led to a public outcry. Many are demanding more transparency of our law enforcement and a better way to review these shootings.
“It’s a bipartisan issue. Six states have already done so—Republican and Democratic states,” said Assemblyman Kevin McCarty.
McCarty says there’s a perceived conflict of interest with the current process of local district attorney’s investigating local agencies
“Having a neutral third party from the state’s AG office will bring about more public trust and independent process,” he said.
McCarty’s Assembly Bill 284 would essentially require the CA Department of Justice to create an independent investigative team. That upon request from a local law enforcement agency or DA would investigate and gather facts.
“These are experts- not a civilian panel. It’s a law enforcement official within the Department of Justice as opposed to a law enforcement official within the hometown,” said McCarty.
The review unit would comprise of three separate teams: in Northern, Central, and Southern California.
But Cory Salzillo with the California State Sheriff’s Association says this bill is unnecessary. He points out, currently, when an agency has an officer involved shooting, they already bring in an outside law enforcement agency to investigate.
“We think the existing process works and the notion that there is bias because the DA is investigating this case, we disagree with that. DA’s and agencies work together all the time,” said Salzillo.
Salzillo adds that the attorney general already has the authority to review a case if needed.
“And frankly the DOJ resources that are gonna be used on this we think are better spent elsewhere,” he said.
AB284 is all dependent on funding. The projected annual cost for these regional teams is about $8.5 million to 10 million for 37 positions statewide.
A vote by the Assembly is expected to take place by Friday.