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Gov. Jerry Brown Signs Bill Barring Use of Secret Grand Juries in Deadly Force Cases

August 13, 2015  | 

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Tuesday a measure that prohibits secret grand juries from weighing in on cases involving excessive or deadly force by law enforcement, and another affirming the public’s right to take audio or video recordings of police officers.

Both measures were part of a spate of proposals introduced by lawmakers earlier this year on police accountability; some of the more controversial bills dealing with body-worn cameras or reporting on use-of-force incidents have stalled in the California Legislature, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) offered the grand juries measure in response to high-profile incidents in Ferguson, Mo., and New York City, where grand juries declined to indict police officers for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, respectively.

Mitchell said her bill, SB 227, would help make judicial proceedings more transparent and accountable. Los Angeles and Santa Clara counties already have opted not to use grand juries when an officer's actions may have caused someone's death.

Comments (5)

Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

Ric Walters @ 8/13/2015 3:06 PM

Every cop in California ought to revolt against this. You can bet the State will use secret grand jury proceedings when the weigh the fate of a cop killer. This is anything but equal protection under the law, which is exactly what Gov. Moonbeam and the legislators of the PRC intend it to be.

kevCopAz @ 8/13/2015 3:12 PM

So once again Police Officers lose a right that others have and are placed on a fast track to prosecution. If this was really a problem then ALL death investigations would bypass the Grand Jury system. Obviously another anti cop move by a Liberal anti cop governor of a anti cop state.

Jon Retired LEO @ 8/13/2015 4:20 PM

Sounds like Governor Brown is caving in to the wishes of the Liberals and throwing his officers under the bus. Its California so what else is new.

Tschako @ 8/13/2015 5:01 PM

Governor Moonbeam strikes again! If grand juries are ok for criminal offenses, why not for this? Right now, there is virtually no one favoring the police; grand juries included. I think body cameras will do the job of transparency.

Tetro80 @ 8/14/2015 4:42 AM

What I find funny about this whole article is that a bill was passed to allow the public’s right to take audio or video recordings of police, and bill dealing with body-worn cameras has stalled in the legislature. So it’s okay to allow Police Officers to be record, but body-worn cameras which would help the police out to dispute false claims of excessive force stalls. You have to love the politicians in La la land

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