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AB-1599 Peace officers: investigations of misconduct.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 07/08/2020 09:00 PM
AB1599:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  July 08, 2020
Amended  IN  Assembly  January 06, 2020

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1599


Introduced by Assembly Member Cunningham

February 22, 2019


An act to amend Section 832.7 of 832.8 of, and to add Section 832.75 to, the Penal Code, relating to peace officers.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1599, as amended, Cunningham. Peace officers: release of records investigations of misconduct.
Existing law requires a department or agency that employs peace officers to establish a procedure to investigate complaints by members of the public against those officers. Existing law authorizes a department or agency that employs custodial officers to establish a similar procedure for its officers. Existing law requires the department or agency to provide written notification to the complaining party of the disposition of a complaint made pursuant to those provisions within 30 days of the disposition. Existing law also makes the investigation records for specified complaints subject to disclosure under the California Public Records Act.
This bill would require a law enforcement agency or oversight agency to complete its investigation into an allegation of the use of force resulting in death or great bodily injury, sexual assault, discharge of a firearm, or dishonesty relating to the reporting, investigation, or prosecution of a crime or misconduct by another peace officer or custodial officer, despite the peace officer’s or custodial officer’s voluntary separation from the employing agency. The bill would require the investigation to result in a finding that the allegation is either sustained, not sustained, unfounded, or exonerated, as defined. The bill would also require an agency other than an officer’s employing agency that conducts an investigation of these allegations to disclose its findings with the employing agency no later than the conclusion of the investigation. By imposing additional duties on local law enforcement agencies, the bill would impose 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.

The California Public Records Act requires a state or local agency, as defined, to make public records available for inspection, subject to certain exceptions. Existing law requires certain peace officer or custodial officer personnel records and records relating to specified incidents, complaints, and investigations involving peace officers and custodial officers to be made available for public inspection pursuant to the California Public Records Act. Existing law deems a record relating to an incident in which a sustained finding was made by any law enforcement agency or oversight agency that a peace officer or custodial officer engaged in sexual assault involving a member of the public as a public record.

This bill would also make available for public inspection, pursuant to that act, peace officer or custodial officer personnel records pertaining to a peace officer or custodial officer accused of sexual assault involving a member of the public when the peace officer or custodial officer resigns before the employing agency has concluded its investigation into the sexual assault. By requiring local government entities to provide these additional records, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

The California Constitution requires local agencies, for the purpose of ensuring public access to the meetings of public bodies and the writings of public officials and agencies, to comply with a statutory enactment that amends or enacts laws relating to public records or open meetings and contains findings demonstrating that the enactment furthers the constitutional requirements relating to this purpose.

This bill would make legislative findings to that effect.

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 no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 832.75 is added to the Penal Code, immediately following Section 832.7, to read:

832.75.
 (a) Commencing January 1, 2021, if a law enforcement agency or oversight agency initiates an administrative investigation into an allegation of an incident involving the discharge of a firearm at a person by a peace officer or custodial officer, or an incident in which the use of force by a peace officer or custodial officer against a person resulted in death or great bodily injury, the agency shall complete its investigation and reach a finding, either sustained, not sustained, exonerated, or unfounded, regardless of whether the officer voluntarily separates from the agency before the investigation is completed.
(b) Commencing January 1, 2021, if a law enforcement agency or oversight agency initiates an administrative investigation into an allegation of sexual assault as defined in this chapter, the agency shall complete its investigation and reach a finding, either sustained, not sustained, exonerated, or unfounded, regardless of whether the officer voluntarily separates from the agency before the investigation is completed.
(c)  Commencing January 1, 2021, if a law enforcement agency or oversight agency initiates an administrative investigation into an allegation of dishonesty by a peace officer or custodial officer directly relating to the reporting, investigation, or prosecution of a crime, or directly relating to the reporting of, or investigation of misconduct by, another peace officer or custodial officer, including, but not limited to, any sustained finding of perjury, false statements, filing false reports, destruction, falsifying, or concealing of evidence, the agency shall complete its investigation and reach a finding, either sustained, not sustained, exonerated, or unfounded, regardless of whether the officer voluntarily separates from the agency before the investigation is completed.
(d) If any agency other than an officer’s employing agency conducts an investigation into an alleged incident described in this section, that agency shall disclose its investigative findings with the employing agency no later than the conclusion of the investigation.

SEC. 2.

 Section 832.8 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

832.8.
 As used in Section 832.7, Sections 832.7 and 832.75, the following words or phrases have the following meanings:
(a) “Exonerated” means that the investigation clearly established that the actions of the peace officer or custodial officer that formed the basis for the complaint are not violations of law or department policy.
(b) “Not sustained” means an investigation failed to produce sufficient evidence to prove or disprove the allegations made in the complaint.

(a)

(c) “Personnel records” means any file maintained under that individual’s name by his or her the individual’s employing agency and containing records relating to any of the following:
(1) Personal data, including marital status, family members, educational and employment history, home addresses, or similar information.
(2) Medical history.
(3) Election of employee benefits.
(4) Employee advancement, appraisal, or discipline.
(5) Complaints, or investigations of complaints, concerning an event or transaction in which he or she the individual participated, or which he or she the individual perceived, and pertaining to the manner in which he or she the individual performed his or her their duties.
(6) Any other information the disclosure of which would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

(b)

(d) “Sustained” means a final determination by an investigating agency, commission, board, hearing officer, or arbitrator, as applicable, following an investigation and opportunity for an administrative appeal pursuant to Sections 3304 and 3304.5 of the Government Code, that the actions of the peace officer or custodial officer were found to violate law or department policy.

(c)

(e) “Unfounded” means that an investigation clearly establishes that the allegation is not true.

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.