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SB-98 Public peace: media access.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 09/14/2021 09:00 PM
SB98:v94#DOCUMENT

Enrolled  September 14, 2021
Passed  IN  Senate  September 10, 2021
Passed  IN  Assembly  September 10, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  September 03, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  August 30, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  June 17, 2021
Amended  IN  Senate  May 20, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 98


Introduced by Senator McGuire
(Coauthors: Senators Gonzalez, Portantino, and Wiener)
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Carrillo and Wicks)

December 22, 2020


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


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 98, 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 any other command post, or establish a 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 and gathering, receiving, or processing information 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. The bill would not impose criminal liability. The bill would state the Legislature’s intention to achieve parity in the access and protections in these circumstances as those established pursuant to a specified law.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 It is the intent of the Legislature that this act achieve parity in the access and protections for journalists and news media as those established pursuant to Section 409.5 of the Penal Code.

SEC. 2.

 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 any other command post, or establish a 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, for gathering, receiving, or processing information. 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) This section does not prevent a law enforcement officer from enforcing other applicable laws if the person is engaged in activity that is unlawful.
(c) This section does not impose, and shall not be used as the basis for, criminal liability.