Posts Tagged: law enforcement

News

Stronger ‘Laura’s law’ wins Assembly approval

Laura Wilcox, whose shooting death in Nevada County inspired "Laura's Law." (Family photo)

Legislation to strengthen California’s 2002 “Laura’s Law,” which gives family members a legal tool to get treatment for their severely mentally ill relatives, has been approved 77-0 by the state Assembly, despite opposition from some California counties, behavioral health directors and a labor union representing employees in local mental-health programs.

News

New law protecting sex workers stirs emotions

A photo illustration of a young girl in custody. (Image: structuresxx, via Shutterstock

The woman, writing to Gov. Gavin Newsom about Senate Bill 233, called herself voiceless.In her letter she told the governor about rapes she’s suffered while homeless and on the streets. Pimps had beaten her. One once threw her out of a hotel, leaving her naked in the parking lot.She feared to call police. They never listened to her before, the unnamed woman wrote.

Opinion

Deadly force proposal needs work

Police officers deployed at a Los Angeles parade. (Photo: Betto Rodrigues)

OPINION: California’s Assembly Bill 931, which would modify the state legal standard governing police officers’ use of deadly force, is a promising advance on existing law, but the current proposal is deeply flawed. To meaningfully reform police practices and properly regulate the use of deadly force, some significant amendments are necessary.

News

Disputed autopsies fuel effort for independent coroners

A dead body in a county morgue. (Photo: John Gomez)

Can law enforcement be trusted to fairly review law enforcement-involved shootings? Some state senators think not, citing the example of San Joaquin County, which saw two forensic pathologists resign after claiming that Sheriff Steve Moore pressured them to change their findings in officer-involved deaths. The pathologists claimed the sheriff pressured them to classify the deaths as accidents.

News

Bills target police conduct, use of force

Sacramento police officers preparing for protests over the shooting of Stephon Clark. (Photo: Kevin Cortopassi, Flickr Creative Commons)

The recent police killing of an unarmed black Sacramento man has left protesters and local politicians demanding revisions to California’s Peace Officer’s Bill of Rights — the decades-old protocol for officers facing disciplinary investigation. But state lawmakers, despite the national attention directed at the shooting of 22-year-old Stephon Clark, have not introduced legislation or even made reference to the 1976 law, known as the POBR.

News

CA ‘rape kit’ backlog under fire

A posed image of a rape victim in a dark tunnel, with the shadow of the rapist in the background. (Photo: ChameleonsEye, via Shutterstock)

Thousands of  California women who said they were raped gave details of their assaults to investigators and provided critical data in “rape kits” — DNA, wounds, semen, hair, fibers — to identify their attackers. But many of the rape kits were not examined in a timely way, caught in a backlog that has angered some lawmakers and women’s groups.

News

Life without parole: Reforms target youthful offenders

Photo illustration: A young woman in custody clings to a chain-link fence. (Shutterstock)

New legislation to overhaul California’s youth criminal justice system includes a key provision that bars life-without-parole sentences for juvenile offenders. Currently, the United States is the only country in the world to impose life-without-parole sentences on minors. Throughout the past decade, the U.S. Supreme Court has handed down decisions that have begun to reverse the trend.

News

California pedestrian deaths decline — finally

Pedestrians crossing Hollywood Boulevard. (Photo: Sean Pavone)

Pedestrian deaths are on the rise throughout the nation, but California is bucking the trend. Preliminary data by the Governors Highway Safety Organization shows an increase in pedestrian fatalities throughout the United States, rising 12 percent to 5,997 in 2016. Yet California, home to the highest number of pedestrian deaths for years, is finally seeing a drop.

Opinion

Crime survivors urge new priorities

Crime survivors gather Tuesday at the state Capitol in Sacramento. (Photo: Rally organizers)

OPINION: Today, April 4, during National Victim Rights’ Week, nearly 500 hundred crime survivors were gathering in Sacramento to share our stories, honor our loved ones and call for new safety priorities. From mothers who have lost loved ones to young men experiencing violence in our communities, we are coming together to call for change.

News

Thumbs down on medical marijuana bureau

A dispensary's sign on Ventura Boulevard in the San Fernando Valley. (Photo: Laurie Avocado)

Amid a last-minute flurry of hostile amendments and despite backing from some in law enforcement and the cannabis industry, an attempt to set up the state’s first Bureau of Medical Marijuana has been defeated in the Assembly. The action by the Assembly Appropriations Committee followed intense negotiations between lawmakers, marijuana advocates and law enforcement.

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