Today, Assembly Bill 69 and Assembly Bill 71 by Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez were signed by Governor Jerry Brown.
Assembly Bill 69 establishes best practices and procedure for the download and storage of police body camera footage. It is groundbreaking legislation that, for the first time, sets statewide standards for the use of body cameras by police officers.
"Body cameras are a vital tool for law enforcement," said Rodriguez. "This bill provides guidance and recommendations for law enforcement departments to consider when establishing a body camera program while also giving them the flexibility to create a policy that fits their specific department."
Assembly Bill 71 will require law enforcement agencies in California to annually submit to the California Department of Justice, a report on peace officers involved in shootings or incidences where serious bodily injury occurs. The report will collect demographic data and statistics that will track cases where individuals or peace officers are injured or killed.
“Our communities are the safest when there is trust between law enforcement and the population they serve and protect,” said Rodriguez. “What we have seen over the past few years is that there is a lack of data that can put use-of-force incidents in a broader context. I introduced this measure to increase accountability and create a mechanism to get a better sense of how often use-of-force incidents are happening, where they are happening and in what types of situations.”
Last month, Attorney General Kamala Harris announced her support for AB 71 as a key piece of the Department of Justice’s new OpenJustice initiative which is a searchable, web-based data tool that catalogs arrest, death and assault statistics across the state’s 400-plus law enforcement agencies. Assembly Bill 71 will help to provide context to the numbers found in the Open Justice portals.
Assemblymember Rodriguez represents the 52nd Assembly District which includes the cities of Chino, Montclair, Ontario, Pomona and portions of unincorporated Fontana.