Bill Text


PDF |Add To My Favorites |Track Bill | print page

AB-958 Peace officers: law enforcement cliques.(2021-2022)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
Date Published: 04/29/2021 09:00 PM
AB958:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 29, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 25, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 958


Introduced by Assembly Member Gipson

February 17, 2021


An act to amend Section 1029 of the Government Code, and to add Section 13670 to the Penal Code, relating to peace officers.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 958, as amended, Gipson. Peace officers: law enforcement cliques.
Existing laws defines those persons who are peace officers, the entities authorized to appoint them, and the scope of their authority. Existing law prescribes certain minimum standards for a person to be appointed as a peace officer, including training requirements, moral character, and physical and mental condition, and certain disqualifying factors for a person to be employed as a peace officer, including a felony conviction. 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.
This bill would define a law enforcement clique, a group of law enforcement officers within an agency that engages in a pattern of specified unlawful or unethical on-duty behavior, and would require law enforcement agencies, as specified, agencies to have a policy prohibiting law enforcement cliques and making participation participation, as specified, in a law enforcement clique grounds for termination. The bill would require an agency to disclose an officer’s termination for involvement in a law enforcement clique to another law enforcement agency conducting a preemployment background investigation of that officer, as specified. The bill would also make a person who has been terminated from employment as a peace officer for involvement with a law enforcement clique ineligible to be a peace officer.
By requiring local law enforcement agencies to adopt new policies, this 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.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Law enforcement cliques have been identified within California law enforcement agencies, undermining California’s movement to enhance professional standards of policing throughout the state. Law enforcement cliques have been recognized by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department as damaging to the trust and reputation of law enforcement throughout California.
(b) A law enforcement clique is a group of law enforcement officers within an agency that engage in a pattern of rogue on-duty behavior that violates the law or fundamental principles of professional policing.
(c) Building and preserving trust between California communities and law enforcement agencies, and protecting the integrity of law enforcement as an institution will require agencies to proactively root out “bad apples” including those who participate, formally or informally, in this type of behavior.
(d) Law enforcement agencies must support and promote peer intervention in instances of officer misconduct, including reporting officers suspected of involvement in law enforcement cliques, and must hold those officers accountable through proportionate disciplinary measures when misconduct is proven.
(e) Trust between our communities and law enforcement is dependent on an institutional reconciliation of the historical traumas perpetrated by law enforcement cliques.

SEC. 2.

 Section 1029 of the Government Code is amended to read:

1029.
 (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), (c), or (d), each of the following persons is disqualified from holding office as a peace officer or being employed as a peace officer of the state, county, city, city and county or other political subdivision, whether with or without compensation, and is disqualified from any office or employment by the state, county, city, city and county or other political subdivision, whether with or without compensation, which confers upon the holder or employee the powers and duties of a peace officer:
(1) Any person who has been convicted of a felony.
(2) Any person who has been convicted of any offense in any other jurisdiction which would have been a felony if committed in this state.
(3) Any person who, after January 1, 2004, has been convicted of a crime based upon a verdict or finding of guilt of a felony by the trier of fact, or upon the entry of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to a felony. This paragraph shall apply regardless of whether, pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 17 of the Penal Code, the court declares the offense to be a misdemeanor or the offense becomes a misdemeanor by operation of law.
(4) Any person who has been charged with a felony and adjudged by a superior court to be mentally incompetent under Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 1367) of Title 10 of Part 2 of the Penal Code.
(5) Any person who has been found not guilty by reason of insanity of any felony.
(6) Any person who has been determined to be a mentally disordered sex offender pursuant to Article 1 (commencing with Section 6300) of Chapter 2 of Part 2 of Division 6 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(7) Any person adjudged addicted or in danger of becoming addicted to narcotics, convicted, and committed to a state institution as provided in Section 3051 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(8) Any person who has been previously terminated from employment as a peace officer for participation in a law enforcement clique, pursuant to Section 13670 of the Penal Code.
(b) (1) A plea of guilty to a felony pursuant to a deferred entry of judgment program as set forth in Sections 1000 to 1000.4, inclusive, of the Penal Code shall not alone disqualify a person from being a peace officer unless a judgment of guilty is entered pursuant to Section 1000.3 of the Penal Code.
(2) A person who pleads guilty or nolo contendere to, or who is found guilty by a trier of fact of, an alternate felony-misdemeanor drug possession offense and successfully completes a program of probation pursuant to Section 1210.1 of the Penal Code shall not be disqualified from being a peace officer solely on the basis of the plea or finding if the court deems the offense to be a misdemeanor or reduces the offense to a misdemeanor.
(c) Any person who has been convicted of a felony, other than a felony punishable by death, in this state or any other state, or who has been convicted of any offense in any other state which would have been a felony, other than a felony punishable by death, if committed in this state, and who demonstrates the ability to assist persons in programs of rehabilitation may hold office and be employed as a parole officer of the Department of Corrections or the Department of the Youth Authority, or as a probation officer in a county probation department, if that person has been granted a full and unconditional pardon for the felony or offense of which they were convicted. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Department of Corrections or the Department of the Youth Authority, or a county probation department, may refuse to employ that person regardless of their qualifications.
(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit or curtail the power or authority of any board of police commissioners, chief of police, sheriff, mayor, or other appointing authority to appoint, employ, or deputize any person as a peace officer in time of disaster caused by flood, fire, pestilence or similar public calamity, or to exercise any power conferred by law to summon assistance in making arrests or preventing the commission of any criminal offense.
(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit any person from holding office or being employed as a superintendent, supervisor, or employee having custodial responsibilities in an institution operated by a probation department, if at the time of the person’s hire a prior conviction of a felony was known to the person’s employer, and the class of office for which the person was hired was not declared by law to be a class prohibited to persons convicted of a felony, but as a result of a change in classification, as provided by law, the new classification would prohibit employment of a person convicted of a felony.

SEC. 3.

 Section 13670 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

13670.
 (a) For purposes of this section:
(1) “Law enforcement agency” means any department or agency of the state or any local government, special district, or other political subdivision thereof, that employs any peace officer, as described in Section 830, that provides uniformed police services to the public. 830.
(2) “Law enforcement clique” means a group of peace officers within a law enforcement agency that engage in a pattern of rogue on-duty behavior that intentionally violates the law or fundamental principles of professional policing, including, but not limited to, the persistent practice of unlawful detention, detention or use of excessive force, force in circumstances where it is known to be unjustified, falsifying police reports, fabricating or destroying evidence, targeting persons for enforcement based solely on protected characteristics of those persons, theft, unauthorized use of alcohol or drugs on duty, unlawful or unauthorized protection of other members from disciplinary actions, and retaliation against other officers who threaten or interfere with the activities of the group.
(b) Each law enforcement agency shall maintain a policy that prohibits participation in a law enforcement clique and which makes a violation of that clique. The policy shall state that it is grounds for termination. termination for a peace officer to participate in a law enforcement clique and willfully promote, further, or assist the clique in any illicit activity with knowledge that its members engage in, or have engaged in, a pattern of activity described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a).
(c) Except as specifically prohibited by law, a law enforcement agency shall disclose the termination of a peace officer for participation in a law enforcement clique to another law enforcement agency conducting a preemployment background investigation of that former peace officer.

SEC. 4.

 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.