Contacts: Akemi Flynn 408-504-8030
Local Community Leaders join Day of Action for Police Accountability at the State Capitol
Urge State Legislators to Support AB 931 & SB 1421
WHO & WHAT: PACT grassroots leaders and Santa Clara County community members board the bus to Sacramento to join hundreds of people from across the CA for a Day of Action at the Capitol
WHEN: Monday, August 13, 6:00am
WHERE: PACT / Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1100 Shasta Ave, San Jose 95126
WHY: Diverse community members across CA need to be able to trust the police. Police transparency and accountability are essential for trust, safety and justice, for both community members and police.
PACT has been organizing for many years for increased police accountability in San Jose and Santa Clara County working with the San Jose Mayor and City Council, Santa Clara County Supervisors, Sheriff, Police Chiefs, SJPOA, IPA, other community organizations, and hundreds of community members.
Changes at the state level are also needed, so local community members are urging state legislators to support AB 931, which will save more lives and ensure that law enforcement is held accountable when they use deadly force on our loved ones, as well as SB 1421 - Right to Know about Use of Force.
There is growing recognition among policing experts that the current law authorizing police officers to use deadly force does not protect against unnecessary loss of life.
Under current law, police can use deadly force whenever an “objectively reasonable” officer would have done so under the same circumstances, whether or not there was an immediate threat to life or bodily security, or whether there were available alternatives.
As a result, current law authorizes police to kill when it is not necessary, widening the rift between grieving communities – particularly communities of color – and the law enforcement agencies that are supposed to protect them.
AB 931 changes California law so that police can use deadly force only when necessary, and requires them to use tactics to de-escalate a situation or use alternatives to deadly force where reasonable. Changing this standard will mean that officers will be trained to use deadly force less often and help protect our families.
SB 1421 will help make police transparent and accountable to the communities they serve. The legislation will make available critical information on how the police departments handle the most serious use of force incidents and confirmed cases of misconduct.
Keeping records of police misconduct and serious uses of force secret prevents the public from ensuring that law enforcement officers are held accountable for their actions. This disproportionately harms communities of color and others who suffer the most from police harassment and brutality.
But California law keeps all investigations and discipline of police officers secret, even for deadly shootings or when an officer’s own department concludes that they committed sexual assault or planted evidence. The majority of other states recognize that disclosure of records of critical
incidents is a basic element of peace officer oversight — peace officer disciplinary records are available to the public in some form in 27 states.
In California, there is a complete shroud of secrecy over these records that is unique to police officers — complaints against all other types of government employees aren’t kept confidential if the complaint is well‐founded or there’s a strong public interest in disclosure.
We’ve seen far too many people killed at the hands of law enforcement to allow police agencies to keep judging those killings in secret. Police have the power to take a life based on a split‐second decision. The public deserves information about how that power has been used and abused. SB 1421 is long overdue.
PACT: People Acting in Community Together is a multiracial, multi-faith organization that empowers people to create a more just community. PACT has more than 30 member congregations and partner schools representing 50,000 people in Santa Clara County. PACT is part of PICO California and the Faith in Action international network, one of the largest grassroots community networks in the country. www.pactsj.org http://www.facebook.com/PACTSJ
PICO California organize in 73 cities, 35 school districts, and in more than 75% of the state's Senate and Assembly districts. PICO California was established in 1994, bringing together local federations from throughout California to affect meaningful budget and policy change at the state level. Over the past 20 years, our organizing and policy advocacy have resulted in increased investments in education and healthcare, and in programs and services that are critical for working families. PICO CA led the grassroots organizing that won SB 54 - CA Valued Act and SB 953 - Anti-Racial & Identity Profiling Act.
PICO CA is comprised of 11 local non-profit organizations made up of 480 congregations and 450,000 families of diverse economic, racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds committed to advancing racial and economic justice in California through organizing, advocacy, and voter engagement. Visit www.PICOCalifornia.org to learn more. PICO California and its federations are non-partisan and do not endorse or support candidates for office.