AB-1506 – Bill Regarding Police Use of Force - Approved by the Governor

On September 30, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom approved AB-1506.[1] Existing law requires law enforcement agencies to maintain a policy on the use of force and requires the “Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training” to implement courses of instruction for the regular and periodic training of law enforcement officers in the use of force. Existing law also requires law enforcement agencies to report any incident in which a peace officer is involved in a shooting or use of force that results in death or serious bodily injury to the Department of Justice (“DOJ”).

 AB-1506 has added Section 12525.3 to the California Government Code and will now create a division within the Department of Justice to review use-of-force policies and make recommendations to law enforcement agencies, upon request for review by these law enforcement agencies.

Government Code section 12525.3 will also require a state prosecutor to investigate incidents of an officer-involved shooting resulting in the death of an unarmed civilian. Under this Statute, an “unarmed civilian” is defined as “anyone who is not in possession of a deadly weapon.” For purposes of this Statute, a “deadly weapon” includes, but is not limited to, “any loaded weapon from which a shot, readily capable of producing death or serious physical injury, may be discharged, or a switchblade knife, pilum ballistic knife, metal knuckle knife, dagger, billy, blackjack, plastic knuckles, or metal knuckles.”

Pursuant to this Statute, the Attorney General will be the state prosecutor in these investigations, unless otherwise specified.  Under this Statute, the state prosecutor would be required to prepare a written report of findings that must be made available on a public internet website. 

This bill now requires the state prosecutor to investigate incidents of officer-involved shootings resulting in the death of unarmed civilians, but the question remains whether the state prosecutor will be required to investigate incidents of officer-involved shootings which result in the death of armed civilians.


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[1] Visit the following link for the full text: