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AB-1854 Missing or Murdered Native American Women Task Force.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 01/07/2020 09:00 PM
AB1854:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1854


Introduced by Assembly Member Frazier

January 07, 2020


An act to add Section 14217 to the Penal Code, relating to law enforcement data.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1854, as introduced, Frazier. Missing or Murdered Native American Women Task Force.
Existing law establishes the Rural Indian Crime Prevention Program, a program of financial and technical assistance for local law enforcement, within the Office of Emergency Services. Existing law establishes the Rural Indian and Law Enforcement Local Advisory Committee, composed of specified members, including one Native American law enforcement officer, and requires the Director of Emergency Services to provide staff services to the advisory committee. Existing law requires the director, in consultation with the advisory committee, to develop guidelines and procedures for the selection of projects to be funded by the program.
This bill would create the Missing or Murdered Native American Women Task Force in the Department of Justice, and would provide for the membership of that task force. The bill would require the task force to complete a formal consultation with California’s Native American tribes on how to improve tribal access to databases, to develop recommendations on how to increase state resources for reporting and identifying missing and murdered Native American persons in the state, and to develop a database of nonprofit or nongovernmental organizations that provide aid or support in locating missing Native American persons. The bill would require the task force to submit a report to the Legislature on or before January 1, 2023, detailing improvements to tribal database access, interjurisdictional coordination, and law enforcement resource allocation for cases of missing or murdered Native American persons. The bill would additionally require the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training, in consultation with the task force, to prepare and distribute to law enforcement agencies in the state guidelines and uniform procedures for the reporting and investigation of missing and murdered Native American persons, and would require the Department of Justice to employ a missing Native American persons specialist responsible for building relationships to increase trust between governmental organizations and native communities.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 14217 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

14217.
 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) On some reservations Native American women are murdered at a rate of more than 10 times the national average.
(2) Native Americans and Alaska Natives are 2.5 times as likely to experience violent crimes, and at least twice as likely to experience rape or sexual assault crimes, compared to all other races according to the National Congress of American Indians.
(3) More than four in five Native American and Alaska Native women, or 84.3 percent, have experienced violence in their lifetime according to the National Institute of Justice.
(4) More than four in five Native American and Alaska Native men, or 81.6 percent, have experienced violence in their lifetime according to the National Institute of Justice.
(5) According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, homicide is the third leading cause of death among Native American and Alaska Native women between 10 and 24 years of age, and the fifth leading cause of death for Native American and Alaska Native women between 25 and 34 years of age.
(6) Investigation into cases of missing and murdered Native American women is difficult for tribal law enforcement agencies due to a lack of resources, including all of the following:
(A) A lack of necessary training, equipment, or funding.
(B) A lack of interagency cooperation.
(C) A lack of appropriate laws.
(7) The complicated jurisdictional scheme that exists on tribal land has a significant negative impact on the ability to provide public safety to Native American communities, has been increasingly exploited by criminals, and requires a high degree of commitment and cooperation among tribal, federal, and state law enforcement officials.
(8) Because California is home to 109 federally recognized Indian tribal governments and more people of Native American and Alaska Native heritage than any other state, it is uniquely positioned to lead the way and serve as an example for other states around the country.
(b) To enhance the protection of Native Americans, especially Native American women, from domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, homicide, stalking, and sex trafficking, and to improve access to local, regional state, and federal crime information databases and criminal justice information systems, there is hereby established in the Department of Justice the Missing or Murdered Native American Women Task Force.
(c) The Missing or Murdered Native American Women Task Force shall consist of the following members, or their appointed representative:
(1) The Attorney General, who shall serve as chair of the task force.
(2) The Director of Emergency Services, who shall serve as vice chair of the task force.
(3) Three representatives, each of whom shall be an enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe in California, appointed by the Governor. The representatives shall be from separate California Native American tribes and each member shall reside in California at the time of appointment. The Governor shall consider geographic and cultural diversity when making the appointments.
(4) A representative of tribal law enforcement agencies, appointed by the Attorney General.
(5) A representative of county law enforcement agencies, appointed by the Attorney General.
(6) A representative of city law enforcement agencies, appointed by the Attorney General.
(7) A representative of Native American organizations that represent or provide services to victims of physical or sexual violence on tribal land, appointed by the Governor.
(8) A representative of urban Native American organizations that represent or provide services to victims of physical or sexual violence in urban communities, appointed by the Governor.
(9) A member of the Senate, appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules.
(10) A member of the Assembly, appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly.
(d) (1) When considering appointments pursuant to subdivision (c), the appointing entity shall make an effort to ensure that the ethnic and geographic composition of the task force is reflective of the ethnic and geographic distribution of California’s federally recognized Indian tribal governments and of Native Americans in the state.
(2) The task force shall encourage the participation of all of the following:
(A) Federal representatives, including representatives of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
(B) Representatives from federally recognized tribal governments in California, especially those tribal governments with boundaries in multiple state or local units of government.
(C) Representatives from the Domestic Violence Coalition and other nonprofit community-based organizations whose primary focus is to assist women who are victims of violent crimes.
(e) On or before July 1, 2021, the task force shall complete a formal consultation with California’s Native American tribes on how to further improve tribal data relevance and access to databases, including through the Violent Crime Information Center and by increasing tribal communities’ knowledge and utilization of the Missing and Unidentified Persons System.
(f) The task force shall develop recommendations on how to increase state resources for reporting and identifying missing and murdered Native American persons in the state, including through the Rural Indian Crime Prevention Program and existing community-based crime prevention programs. The task force shall collaborate with tribal law enforcement agencies to determine the scope of the problem, identify barriers to addressing the problem, and create partnerships to improve the reporting of and the investigation of missing and murdered Native American persons.
(g) The state and the task force shall respect tribal sovereignty in the execution of the task force’s duties, and shall collaborate with the United States Department of Justice to improve the task force’s processes and protocols for information sharing and coordination of resources in reporting and investigating cases of missing and murdered Native American persons in the state.
(h) (1) In consultation with the task force, the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training shall prepare and distribute to law enforcement agencies in the state guidelines and uniform procedures for the reporting and investigation of missing and murdered Native American persons that shall include all of the following:
(A) Guidelines on interjurisdictional cooperation among law enforcement agencies at the tribal, federal, state, and local levels, including interjurisdictional enforcement of protection orders and detailing of specific responsibilities of each law enforcement agency.
(B) Best practices in conducting searches for missing persons on tribal land.
(C) Standards on the collection, reporting, and analysis of data and information on missing persons and unidentified human remains, and information on culturally appropriate identification and handling of human remains identified as Native American, including guidance stating that all appropriate information related to missing and murdered Native American persons be entered in a timely manner into applicable databases.
(D) Guidance on which law enforcement agency is responsible for inputting information into appropriate databases if the tribal law enforcement agency does not have access to those databases.
(E) Guidelines on improving law enforcement agency response rates and followup responses to cases of missing and murdered Native American persons.
(F) Guidelines on ensuring access to culturally appropriate victim services for victims and their families.
(2) Guidelines and uniform procedures developed pursuant to this section shall be voluntary and nonbinding, including on tribal governments and tribal law enforcement agencies.
(i) In consultation with the task force, the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training shall establish training programs for law enforcement personnel regarding the conduct of investigations into missing and murdered Native American persons.
(j) The task force may develop a database of nonprofit or nongovernmental organizations that provide aid or support in locating missing Native American persons. The task force shall develop a toolkit for tribal and urban Native American communities to educate Native American families about the steps they should take if a loved one is missing, including how to report a person missing and what other actions they should take to involve law enforcement. The task force shall develop a strategy for disseminating the toolkit information among tribal, urban Native American, and law enforcement communities.
(k) The Department of Justice shall employ a missing Native American persons specialist responsible for building relationships to increase trust between governmental organizations and tribal governments and communities, and working closely with local, state, federal, and tribal law enforcement authorities on missing persons cases. The specialist shall do all of the following:
(1) Provide guidance and support to law enforcement authorities and families in the search for missing persons.
(2) Network with other state and international missing persons programs to aid in locating Native American persons who are unlawfully taken out of or unlawfully brought into California.
(3) Provide public outreach and education on missing and murdered Native American persons issues.
(4) Issue alerts and advisories at the request of law enforcement authorities to activate public assistance in locating an endangered missing Native American person.
(5) Facilitate training for law enforcement authorities related to missing and murdered Native American persons cases, including education concerning resources available to assist with missing and murdered Native American persons investigations.
(6) Act as a liaison between all of the following:
(A) Native American tribes and tribal organizations and communities.
(B) Tribal liaisons in other state agencies.
(C) Law enforcement agencies at the federal, state, local, and tribal levels.
(D) Nongovernmental entities that provide services to Native American women.
(l) The missing persons specialist shall have significant experience living in tribal communities, demonstrate a competent understanding of federal Indian law, and complete cultural competency training.
(m) (1) The task force shall prepare and submit a report to the Legislature on or before January 1, 2023, detailing the improvements to tribal database access, interjurisdictional coordination, recommendations developed pursuant to subdivision (f), and law enforcement resource allocation for cases of missing or murdered Native American persons.
(2)  The requirement for submitting a report imposed under this subdivision is inoperative on January 1, 2025, pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code.
(3) A report to be submitted pursuant to this subdivision shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.