In the Tommy McClain case misrepresentation and withheld information has been the modus operandi of Eureka Police Chief Mills. We have been hoping for more truth to come out when the Civil Trial starts https://tuluwatexaminer.wordpress.com/2015/05/07/federal-civil-lawsuit-alleges-city-of-eureka-police-shooting-was-unjustified/
Now we have some additional hope that if this bill passes we can learn more of the truth about what happen that night. (as long as the evidence still remains intact)
California has some of the strictest laws in the U.S. against publicly releasing information about officer discipline. State Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) says recent high-profile clashes between police departments and the communities they serve show that now is the time to change the rules.
Leno has introduced SB 1286, which would unravel some of the protections against releasing officer information. His push for transparency is generally supported by police reform advocates as a way to improve police-community relations.
“We can begin to rebuild the critically needed trust between law enforcement and community members,” Leno said. “I don’t think it’s at all debatable that that trust has come into question.”
Leno’s bill will have its first test Tuesday morning at a Senate committee hearing that’s expected to highlight the deep divide between police reform advocates and law enforcement.
Nearly 40 years ago, California took its first steps to shield police misconduct from the public when Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law in his first term restricting details of officer personnel files from disclosure. A 2006 California Supreme Court decision went further and extended the law’s protections to cases in which civil service commissions weighed in on officer discipline. Today, almost all details about misconduct — including cases in which police officers were found to have used excessive force, engaged in racial profiling or lied on the job — are kept secret outside of court, administrative or civilian review board proceedings.
And although 23 states keep most public employee personnel records confidential, California is one of just three to provide specific protections for police information, according to a recent investigation by New York’s WNYC Public Radio.