California will adopt a series of new legislation banning specific restraint techniques that could cause harm and improving policing accountability and responsibility guidelines. Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation increasing transparency of certain peace officer misconduct records and raising the age requirement for those wishing to become police officers in the state, among other measures.

Senate Bill (SB) 2 by Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins and Senator Steven Bradford creates a system within the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) to investigate and revoke or suspend peace officer certification for serious misconduct, including excessive force, sexual assault, demonstration of bias and dishonesty. This legislation creates the Peace Officer Standards Accountability Division and the Peace Officer Standards Accountability Advisory Board within POST to review serious misconduct cases.

SB 16 by Senator Nancy Skinner increases transparency of peace officer misconduct records pertaining to findings of unreasonable or excessive use of force, discriminatory or prejudiced behavior, failure to intervene when witnessing excessive use of force by a peace officer, or participation in unlawful searches and arrests.

Governor Newsom also signed Assembly Bill (AB) 26 by Assemblymember Chris Holden which creates guidelines for police officers to intercede and immediately report if another officer is using excessive force; AB 89 by Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer which raises the minimum age to become a police officer to 21 and will enhance education requirements; and AB 490 by Assemblymember Mike Gipson which bans technique and transport methods that involve risk of positional asphyxia.

A full list of the bills signed by the Governor is below:

  • AB 26 – Peace officers: use of force.
  • AB 48 – Law enforcement: use of force.
  • AB 89 – Peace officers: minimum qualifications.
  • AB 481 – Law enforcement and state agencies: military equipment: funding, acquisition, and use.
  • AB 490 – Law enforcement agency policies: arrests: positional asphyxia.
  • AB 958 – Peace officers: law enforcement gangs.
  • SB 2 – Peace officers: certification: civil rights.
  • SB 16 – Peace officers: release of records.