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AB-66 Police: use of force.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 06/26/2020 04:00 AM
AB66:v93#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  June 25, 2020
Amended  IN  Senate  June 17, 2020
Amended  IN  Assembly  January 07, 2020
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 30, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 22, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 04, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 66


Introduced by Assembly Members Gonzalez and Kalra Gonzalez, Kalra, and Cristina Garcia
(Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Carrillo)
(Coauthors: Assembly Members McCarty, Robert Rivas, Ting, and Weber)
(Coauthors: Senators Durazo, Lena Gonzalez, and Wiener)

December 03, 2018


An act to add Section 832.14 to the Penal Code, relating to police use of force.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 66, as amended, Gonzalez. Police: use of force.
Existing law authorizes a peace officer to use reasonable force to effect the arrest, to prevent escape, or to overcome resistance. Existing law requires law enforcement agencies to maintain a policy on the use of force, as specified. Existing law requires the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training to implement courses of instruction for the regular and periodic training of law enforcement officers in the use of force.

This bill would express the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would set standards on the use of rubber bullets and other less lethal projectiles by law enforcement.

This bill would prohibit the use of kinetic energy projectiles or chemical weapons, as defined, by any law enforcement agency to disperse an assembly protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, or solely due to a violation of an imposed curfew, verbal threat, or mere noncompliance with a law enforcement directive. The bill would prohibit the use of chloroacetophenone tear gas or 2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile gas by law enforcement agencies. The bill would set standards for the use of kinetic energy projectiles at the scene of a riot, including, among other things, requiring that those weapons only be fired at a specific target who presents a clear and imminent threat to themselves, the officers, or other persons.
The bill would also require each law enforcement agency, on January 1 each year beginning on January 1, 2023, to publish a report on its internet website containing specified information on its use of kinetic energy projectiles or chemical weapons. The bill would require each law enforcement agency to send its report on or before January 1 of each year to the Department of Justice, and would require the Department of Justice to submit a report to specified committees of the Legislature regarding the law enforcement use of kinetic energy projectiles or chemical agents and containing the information submitted to the department biennially beginning on January 1, 2023. The bill would require a city in which federal law enforcement is operating to request that the federal law enforcement agency refrain from the use of less lethal kinetic energy projectiles or chemical agents to disperse an assembly protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution as long as there is no immediate risk of rioting. By imposing new duties on law enforcement agencies and cities, this bill would create a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   Local Program: NOYES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares the following:
(a) Beginning the week of May 25, 2020, there have been numerous reports of peaceful protestors, along with countless other bystanders and reporters, maimed by rubber bullets and other projectiles by law enforcement.
(b) Rubber Kinetic energy projectiles, such as rubber or plastic bullets, beanbag rounds, and foam rounds, also called kinetic impact projectiles, and chemical agents, including pepper balls, pepper spray, and tear gas, have been increasingly used as crowd control weapons or less lethal weapons to respond to protests and are designed to incapacitate individuals by inflicting pain or sublethal injury.
(c) A 2017 British Medical Journal study found that 3% of people hit by rubber bullets died of their injuries and 15% were permanently injured.
(d) Researchers and medical professionals have called for an end of the use of rubber bullets on peaceful protestors because of their potential to cause serious injury, disability, or death.
(e) The 1925 Geneva Protocol categorized tear gas as a chemical warfare agent and banned its use in war. The Chemical Weapons Convention outlawed the use of tear gas in 1997, but still made it legal for law enforcement to use.
(f) Health experts have warned that the use of tear gas could help with the spread of COVID-19 because it irritates the lungs and makes persons cough.

(e)

(g) While most police departments have their own policies on their use of force, force and less lethal weapons, there are no statewide or national standards for rubber bullets. standards.
(h) It is the intent of this act to establish clear minimum standards for policies and reporting procedures regarding California law enforcement agencies’ use of less lethal kinetic energy projectiles and chemical agents.
SEC. 2.

It is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would set clear standards on the use of rubber bullets and other less lethal projectiles by law enforcement.

SEC. 2.

 Section 832.14 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

832.14.
 (a) Kinetic energy projectiles or chemical agents shall not be used by any law enforcement agency to disperse an assembly protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution if there is no rioting. Kinetic energy projectiles or chemical agents shall not be used by any law enforcement agency solely due to a violation of an imposed curfew, verbal threat, or mere noncompliance with a law enforcement directive.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), chloroacetophenone tear gas, commonly known as CN tear gas, or 2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile gas, commonly known as CS gas, shall not be used by any law enforcement agency.
(c) Kinetic energy projectiles or chemical agents shall only be deployed and used by officers trained on the proper use of those weapons by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training.
(d) If kinetic energy projectiles are deployed at the scene of a riot, they shall only be fired at a specific target who presents a clear and imminent threat to themselves, the officers, or other persons. Officers shall be mindful of the increased risk of hitting an unintended target due to unexpected movement of members of the crowd. Officers shall not use less lethal kinetic energy projectiles indiscriminately against a crowd or group of persons. A verbal warning shall be issued to the crowd if practical. Officers shall not fire kinetic energy projectiles at persons running away.
(e) In any instance where kinetic energy projectiles are deployed at the scene of a riot, officers must aim, from at least five feet away, at an individual’s navel or belt line first. Officers shall not aim at an individual’s head or neck.
(f) (1) Each law enforcement agency shall send a report to the Department of Justice on or before January 1 each year that explains, for the preceding year, why kinetic energy projectiles or chemical agents were used, how many rounds were deployed, and whether any person was injured as a result of the use of kinetic energy projectiles or chemical agents. This report shall be made public each year by the law enforcement agency on its internet website beginning January 1, 2023. The Department of Justice shall submit a report to the committees on public safety and the committees on appropriations in both houses of the Legislature regarding the law enforcement use of kinetic energy projectiles or chemical agents and containing the information submitted to the department pursuant to this subdivision no later than January 1, 2023, and biennially thereafter.
(2) A report to be submitted pursuant to this subdivision shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(g) If a federal law enforcement agency is operating in the jurisdiction of any city, that city shall request that federal law enforcement agency refrain from the use of less lethal kinetic energy projectiles or chemical agents to disperse an assembly protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution as long as there is no immediate risk of rioting.
(h) Nothing in this section prevents a law enforcement agency from adopting more stringent policies.
(i) For the purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:
(1) “Kinetic energy projectiles” means any type of device designed as less lethal, to be launched from any device as a projectile that may cause bodily injury through the transfer of kinetic energy and blunt force trauma. For purposes of this section, the term includes, but is not limited to, items commonly referred to as rubber bullets, plastic bullets, beanbag rounds, and foam tipped plastic rounds.
(2) “Chemical agents” means any chemical which can rapidly produce sensory irritation or disabling physical effects in humans, which disappear within a short time following termination of exposure. For purposes of this section, the term includes, but is not limited to, items commonly referred to as pepper balls, pepper spray or oleoresin capsicum, and CN tear gas or CS gas.

SEC. 3.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.