SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) – California Gov. Jerry Brown signed two bills into law on Sunday that will increase access to law enforcement records and body camera footage, according to state officials.
Brown signed Assembly Bill 748, authored by Assemblymember Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, which requires police to release body camera footage to the public within 45 days of a “critical incident,” defined as the discharge of a firearm or use-of-force that causes death or great bodily harm.
The governor also signed Senate Bill 1421, authored by state Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, which allows public access to police records in cases where a firearm is discharged, on-the-job sexual assault occurs or dishonesty in a report, investigation or prosecution of a crime.
“When incidents such as a police shooting occurs, the public has a right to know that there was a thorough investigation,” Skinner said in a statement. “Without access to such records, communities can’t hold our public safety agencies accountable.”
Ting’s office said in a statement that prior to AB 748 being signed into law, police departments often cited a pending investigation in withholding recording under the public records act.
“Public access to body camera footage is necessary to boost confidence and rebuild trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve,” Ting said.
Both AB 748 and SB 1421 will take effect on July 1, 2019.
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