On Saturday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 953, the “Racial and Identity Profiling Act of 2015,” into California Law.
The law forces police and law enforcement to “revise the definition of racial profiling to instead refer to racial or identity profiling,” as well submit to numerous other restrictions, including reporting:
- The time, date, and location of the stop, search, or seizure.
- The characteristics of each officer involved in the stop, including, but not limited to, his or her badge or identification number, race or ethnicity, gender, age, assignment, division or station, and shift, and whether he or she was in uniform.
- A description of all persons detained during the stop. The description will have to include the perceived or voluntarily disclosed race or ethnicity, gender, and age of all persons stopped.
- Whether any person had language barriers, including, but not limited to, limited English proficiency.
- The perceived or voluntarily disclosed race or ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or religion of the person.
In early September, hundreds of members of Black Lives Matter and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) gathered in Sacramento to demand Brown sign the bill, shouting, “This is what democracy looks like,” “Justice, If we don’t get it, shut it down,” “Fight back,” and “Black lives matter,” as Michelle Moons of Breitbart News reported.
They were joined in their efforts to pass the bill by ACLU of California Center for Advocacy and Policy Director Natasha Minsker, who tweeted, “Hundreds in Sac calling for legislature to act on biased policing #ab953 supported by 67% of CA voters #FairPolicing,” and an AFL-CIO union local post, asserting, “Protestors occupying the Capitol to highlight the need for #AB953 to end identity profiling in CA #RaiseUpAB953.”
KRON 4 quoted Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D-San Diego), who wrote the bill, and said:
I am grateful to the Governor–who along with his father has been on the forefront of civil rights issues for the last half century–for his careful consideration and for his support for this bill. AB 953 will be the state’s first step toward not only understanding the problem of racial profiling, but also toward formulating policies to reduce the practice and its devastating consequences. California is going in a new direction on this issue; hopefully, this will set an example for other states.
Meanwhile, Brown vetoed a bill from Sen. Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) that would charge sex offenders removing or tampering with their GPS tracking devices with a felony. Bates referenced two paroled sex offenders in Orange County who had murdered four women. Both men had a history of removing their GPS ankle bracelets. Bate said, “If anyone deserves to serve longer prison terms, then it should be violent sex offenders who tamper with their GPS devices,” according to Capital Public Radio.