Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday signed policing bills that ban chokeholds, allow the state Department of Justice to investigate police shootings and give counties more oversight of sheriff's departments.
Impact: The signings represent a win for police reform advocates and Democrats who introduced a wave of bills after the May police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Still, the moment is bittersweet for these groups after some of the most aggressive proposals — including bills to establish a police decertification process and mandate officers intercede to stop excessive force — stalled in the Legislature.
The new laws: CA AB1506 (19R), by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), is the biggest breakthrough for legislative advocates for changing police practices. They tried and failed in past years to overhaul the investigatory process for police shootings and other uses of lethal force. The bill will establish an investigative unit within the Department of Justice to handle investigations of officer-involved shootings and lethal force when requested by local law enforcement agencies or district attorneys.
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