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SB-629 Public peace: media access.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 09/03/2020 09:00 PM
SB629:v96#DOCUMENT

Enrolled  September 03, 2020
Passed  IN  Senate  August 31, 2020
Passed  IN  Assembly  August 30, 2020
Amended  IN  Assembly  July 28, 2020
Amended  IN  Assembly  June 25, 2020

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 629


Introduced by Senators McGuire, Hill, and Hertzberg
(Principal coauthor: Senator Wiener)
(Coauthors: Senators Dodd, Lena Gonzalez, Portantino, and Skinner)
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Carrillo and Wicks)

February 22, 2019


An act to add Section 409.7 to the Penal Code, relating to public safety.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 629, McGuire. Public peace: media access.
Existing law makes every person who willfully resists, delays, or obstructs any public officer, peace officer, or an emergency medical technician, as defined, in the discharge or attempt to discharge any duty of the office or employment, when no other punishment is prescribed, guilty of a misdemeanor. Existing law also authorizes specified peace officers to close an area where a menace to the public health or safety is created by a calamity and to close the immediate area surrounding any emergency field command post or other command post activated for the purpose of abating a calamity, riot, or other civil disturbance, as specified. Existing law makes any unauthorized person who willfully and knowingly enters those areas and who remains in the area after receiving notice to evacuate or leave guilty of a misdemeanor. Existing law exempts a duly authorized representative of any news service, newspaper, or radio or television station or network from the provisions prohibiting entry into the closed areas, as specified.
This bill would, if peace officers close the immediate area surrounding any emergency field command post or establish any other command post, police line, or rolling closure at a demonstration, march, protest, or rally where individuals are engaged primarily in constitutionally protected activity, as described, require that a duly authorized representative of any news service, online news service, newspaper, or radio or television station or network, as described, be allowed to enter those closed areas and would prohibit a peace officer or other law enforcement officer from intentionally assaulting, interfering with, or obstructing a duly authorized representative who is gathering, receiving, or processing information for communication to the public. The bill would also prohibit a duly authorized representative who is in a closed area from being cited for the failure to disperse, a violation of a curfew, or a violation of other, specified law. The bill would require that if a representative is detained by a peace officer or other law enforcement officer, the representative be permitted to contact a supervisory officer immediately for the purpose of challenging the detention. For purposes of this bill, a duly authorized representative would be a person who appears to be engaged in gathering, receiving, or processing information, who produces a business card, press badge, other similar credential, or who is carrying professional broadcasting or recording equipment.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 409.7 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

409.7.
 (a) If peace officers, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2, close the immediate area surrounding any emergency field command post or establish any other command post, police line, or rolling closure at a demonstration, march, protest, or rally where individuals are engaged in activity that is protected pursuant to the First Amendment to the United States Constitution or Article I of the California Constitution, the following requirements shall apply:
(1) A duly authorized representative of any news service, online news service, newspaper, or radio or television station or network may enter the closed areas described in this section.
(2) A peace officer or other law enforcement officer shall not intentionally assault, interfere with, or obstruct the duly authorized representative of any news service, online news service, newspaper, or radio or television station or network who is gathering, receiving, or processing information for communication to the public.
(3) A duly authorized representative of any news service, online news service, newspaper, or radio or television station or network that is in a closed area described in this section shall not be cited for the failure to disperse, a violation of a curfew, or a violation of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 148. If the duly authorized representative is detained by a peace officer or other law enforcement officer, that representative shall be permitted to contact a supervisory officer immediately for the purpose of challenging the detention, unless circumstances make it impossible to do so.
(b) For purposes of this section, a person who appears to be engaged in gathering, receiving, or processing information, who produces a business card, press badge, other similar credential, or who is carrying professional broadcasting or recording equipment, is a duly authorized representative of a news service, online news service, newspaper, or radio or television station or network.
(c) This section does not prevent a law enforcement officer from enforcing other applicable laws if the person is engaged in activity that is unlawful.