SB-1421 Peace Officers: Release of Records

SB-1421 Peace Officers: Release of Records

Senate Bill 1421, would begin to unwind a confidentiality law passed four decades ago by opening records from investigations of officer shootings and other major force incidents, along with confirmed cases of sexual assault and lying while on duty.

California’s existing rules protecting the confidentiality of misconduct records not only prohibit the public from seeing them, but also deny prosecutors direct access, a standard that exists in no other state.

SB 1421 will unseal internal investigation records related to when officers use weapons on people, commit sexual assault or lie in police reports. The bill will require the records to be unsealed 18 months after the incident. Currently, a court order is required for the public to see them at all.