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File #: 2020-8161   
Type: Consent Calendar Item
Body: City Council
On agenda: 7/21/2020
Title: Recommendation to Authorize the Mayor to Sign Letters of Support for State Legislation on Police Reforms. (City Manager 2110)
Attachments: 1. Exhibit 1 - 2020 Legislative Agenda

Title

 

Recommendation to Authorize the Mayor to Sign Letters of Support for State Legislation on Police Reforms. (City Manager 2110)

 

Body

 

To: Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Council

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

On June 17, 2020, the City Council adopted the #8cantwait campaign policy reforms as a step toward implementing police reform policies. On June 29, 2020, the City Council convened a special meeting and established a steering committee that will return to the City Council by the end of July with a work plan to provide and help ensure safety and security for all Alameda residents.

 

At the same time, State lawmakers are considering Statewide police reforms. While the City Council has already supported a number of these reforms at the City level, staff asks that the City Council consider authorizing the Mayor to sign support letters on the twelve bills described below that would strengthen police policy reforms in California.

 

BACKGROUND

 

The City’s annual Legislative Agenda was adopted on March 3, 2020, and does not include specific police department reform initiatives. The Legislative Agenda does include support of the League of California Cities’ strategic advocacy priority to support additional tools and resources to address critical community challenges such as homelessness, mental health, domestic violence, drug rehabilitation, human trafficking, and workforce development for ex-offender reentry. It also supports legislation that increases equity, improves the physical health, mental health, and well-being of Alameda residents, and promotes social equity.

 

The #8cantwait project by Campaign Zero endorsed by the City Council on June 17, 2020, includes the following police reforms:

1.                     Ban Chokeholds and Strangleholds

2.                     Require De-Escalation

3.                     Require Verbal Warning Before Shooting

4.                     Exhaust All Other Means Before Shooting

5.                     Duty to Intervene and Stop Excessive Use of Force By Other Officers

6.                     Ban Shooting At Moving Vehicles

7.                     Require Use of Force Continuum

8.                     Require Comprehensive Reporting Each Time An Officer Uses Force or Threatens to Do So

 

DISCUSSION

 

Below are current bills being considered in Sacramento that appear to be consistent with the City Council’s support of the #8cantwait program. Following the City Council’s direction, staff will prepare support letters for the Mayor’s review and signature.

 

AB 1022 (Holden) <http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB1022>

This bill requires officers to report and intervene when they know, or have reason to know, that another officer is about to use, or is using, unnecessary force. Specifically, this bill (1) requires an officer to immediately report potential excessive force, and to intercede when present and observing an officer using excessive force, the failure to do so makes that officer a principal in any crime committed by the other officer during the use of excessive force; (2) disqualifies a person from being a peace officer if the person has, on three separate occasions, been found by a law enforcement agency that employs the person to have either used excessive force or to have failed to intercede; and (3) requires a law enforcement agency to  have a website that makes specified public records of peace officers available in a form searchable by each officer’s name, and that allows members of the public to file citizen complaints. This bill is a legislative priority by the California Legislative Black Caucus.

 

AB 1185 (McCarty) <http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB1185>

This bill authorizes counties to establish sheriff oversight boards, either by action of the Board of Supervisors or through a vote of county residents, authorizes the oversight board to issue a subpoena when deemed necessary to investigate a matter, and authorizes a county to establish an office of the inspector general to assist the oversight board with its supervisorial duties. This bill is a legislative priority by the California Legislative Black Caucus.

 

AB 1196 (Gipson) <http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB1196>

This bill prohibits a law enforcement agency from authorizing the use of a carotid restraint or a choke hold. This bill is a legislative priority by the California Legislative Black Caucus.

 

AB 1299 (Salas) <http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB1299>

This bill requires a law enforcement agency to complete misconduct investigations and notify the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training of its findings so that the Commission can include that information in the officer’s background material that can be reviewed by future hiring agencies.

 

AB 1314 (McCarty) <http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB1314>

This bill would require municipalities to annually post on their websites specified information relating to use of force settlements and judgments, including amounts paid, broken down by individual settlement and judgment, information on bonds used to finance use of force settlement and judgment payments, and premiums paid for insurance against use of force settlements or judgments. The bill would require the State to annually post the same information on its website regarding use of force settlements and judgments against the California Highway Patrol.

 

AB 1506 (McCarty) <http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB1506>

This bill would create two new divisions within the Department of Justice to: (1) upon the request of a law enforcement agency, conduct an independent investigation of any officer-involved shooting or other use of force that resulted in the death of a civilian and would authorize the Department of Justice to criminally prosecute any officer that, pursuant to such an investigation, is found to have violated State law, and (2) upon the request of a law enforcement agency, review the use-of-force policy of the agency and make recommendations. This bill is a legislative priority by the California Legislative Black Caucus.

 

AB 1550 (Bonta) <http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB1550>

This bill makes discriminatory and baseless 911 calls a felony hate crime and establishes civil liability for someone who knowingly causes a peace officer to arrive at a location to contact the person with the intent to, among other things, infringe upon the person’s rights or cause the person to feel harassed, humiliated, or embarrassed if it is based on a person’s protected status.

 

AB 1652 (Wicks) <http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB1652>

This bill would require law enforcement agencies to expand their use of force policy to include guidelines under which officers may use “kettling” or “corralling,” and to prohibit officers from failing to wear, or intentionally acting to obscure or conceal information on, a badge while on duty. The bill would also require the policy to prohibit law enforcement officers from using force on individuals engaged in, or members of the press covering, a lawful assembly or protest and would further require the policy to require that an officer who is found to have intentionally violated this policy be suspended. The bill reduces the penalty for participating in any riot or unlawful assembly from a misdemeanor to an infraction.

 

AB 1709 (Weber) <http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB1709>

This bill requires a peace officer to attempt to control an incident through de-escalation tactics, as defined, in an effort to reduce or avoid the need to use force, to render medical aid immediately or as soon as feasible, and to intervene to stop a violation of law or an excessive use of force by another peace officer.

 

AB 1775 (Jones-Sawyer) <http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB1775>

This bill increases the penalty for knowingly using the 911 emergency system for the purpose of harassing another and also provides that if that use of the 911 system is a hate crime committed against another person on the basis of the other person’s actual or perceived characteristics, including race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, the crime would be a misdemeanor.

 

SB 203 (Bradford) <http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200SB203>

Existing law requires that a youth 15 years of age or younger consult with legal counsel in person, by telephone, or by video conference prior to a custodial interrogation and before waiving any of their rights. This bill expands those requirements to youth 17 years of age or younger and directs a court to consider any willful failure of a law enforcement officer to allow a youth 17 years of age or younger to speak with counsel before a custodial interrogation in determining the credibility of that law enforcement officer.

 

SB 731 (Bradford) <http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200SB731>

This bill creates a Statewide process for de-certifying law enforcement officers following the conviction of certain crimes or termination due to specified misconduct and would disqualify individuals from serving as peace officers if convicted of crimes like falsification of records, bribery, or perjury. This bill is a legislative priority by the California Legislative Black Caucus.

 

SB 776 (Skinner) <http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200SB776>

This bill expands the public disclosure of peace officer personnel files. Specifically, the bill would make every incident involving use of force subject to disclosure; removes the requirement that a complaint relating to sexual assault or dishonesty be found to be sustained following an investigation in order to be subject to disclosure; makes records related to sustained findings of wrongful arrests and wrongful searches to be subject to disclosure; and requires the disclosure of records relating to an incident involving prejudice or discrimination on the basis of a protected class. The bill would require the retention of all complaints currently in the possession of a department or agency and require that records relating to an incident in which an officer resigned before an investigation is completed to also be subject to released.

 

ALTERNATIVES

 

                     Authorize the Mayor to sign letters of support for all of the above pieces of legislation.

                     Authorize the Mayor to sign letters of support for select pieces of legislation.

                     Do not authorize the Mayor to sign letters of support for any of the proposed pieces of legislation.

 

FINANCIAL IMPACT

 

There is no financial impact from authorizing the Mayor to sign letters of support for State legislation.

 

 MUNICIPAL CODE/POLICY DOCUMENT CROSS REFERENCE

                    

This action does not affect the Alameda Municipal Code.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW

 

This action is not a project and is exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Sections 15378 and 15060. 

 

CLIMATE IMPACTS

 

There are no climate impacts from authorizing the Mayor to sign letters of support for State legislation.

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

Authorize the Mayor to Sign Letters of Support for State Legislation on Police Reforms.

 

CITY MANAGER RECOMMENDATION

 

The City Manager recommends authorization for the Mayor to sign the letters due to the legislation being consistent with City Council policy positions.  There may be some additional mandates on the City however, I believe they are consistent with City of Alameda policy positions and recommend support.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Sarah Henry, Public Information Officer

 

Financial Impact section reviewed,

Nancy Bronstein, Interim Finance Director

 

Exhibit:

1.                      2020 Legislative Agenda

 

cc:                     Eric Levitt, City Manager