Gov. Jerry Brown will decide the fate of a police profiling bill that led advocates to blockade his office and stage a mass “die-in” last week.
Introduced after a year in which the “Black Lives Matter” movement flourished in response to high-profile police killings, Assembly Bill 953 would require law enforcement to submit to the California attorney general detailed information on police stops. Backers say it would quantify a problem for which they believe there is abundant anecdotal evidence – that law enforcement unfairly targets minorities.
“I think all of us have come to the realization that we’re at a critical point in terms of policing and racial profiling in the state,” said Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D-San Diego. “(The bill) provides us with information where there may be problems that exist and it gives us a way of moving from just hearsay and what people think happened.”
Assembly members sent the measure to Brown on 42-24 vote, overriding the opposition of law enforcement groups who argued the bill would distract officers with unnecessary paperwork.
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The passage marked a victory for advocates who staged a raucous demonstration at the Capitol last week. They massed in front of Brown’s office and prevented anyone from passing while they sang, chanted and shared stories of police violence.
In a statement at the time, Brown’s office declined to weigh in on the bill but said that “we welcome the voices of Californians on these and other important issues.”