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Newsom signs sweeping reforms, raises age for new cops to 21, can lose badge for ‘racial bias’

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a number of sweeping police reform bills that take aim at alleged law enforcement misconduct and will allow officers to be stripped of their badges for “racial bias” and other deemed offenses.

On Thursday, surrounded by what Newsom called “moral leadership” and the family members of those killed by law enforcement officers, he signed into law eight police reform bills claiming that they would increase transparency and accountability. He was joined by California Attorney General Rob Bonta who proclaimed that there is a “crisis of trust” between citizens and officers.

“We’re delivering concrete solutions from banning dangerous holds that lead to asphyxia to multiple other mechanisms that improve accountability and oversight and transparency,” Bonta declared.

“I’m here as governor of California mindful that we’re in a juxtaposition of being a leader on police reform and a lagger on police reform,” Newsom bloviated from a park gymnasium in the Los Angeles suburb of Gardena. “We have a lot to be proud of but there’s areas where we have nothing to brag about.”

(Video Credit: Forbes Breaking News)

The legislation was strongly opposed by police officers. More than three dozen groups were against it. They contend that it subjects them to double jeopardy with very vague definitions of wrongdoing and that it mandates the use of an oversight panel of citizens that could very well be biased and uninformed on police issues according to the Los Angeles Times.

Senate Bill 2 “merely requires that the individual officer ‘engaged’ in serious misconduct – not that they were found guilty, terminated, or even disciplined,” the California Police Chiefs Association noted in a letter sent to state lawmakers.

Assembly Bill 26 was opposed by the California Association of Highway Patrolmen. It calls for officers to intervene if they believe a fellow officer is using too much force on a suspect. This affects situations that can be so fast-moving that an officer who arrives on the scene might not be able to determine whether that is the case or not.

Democratic State Senator Steven Bradford claimed that allowing badges to be permanently stripped from cops would end “the wash, rinse, repeat cycle of police misconduct.”

“This bill is not just about holding bad officers accountable for their misconduct,” he declared. “It’s also about rebuilding trust between our communities and law enforcement.”

“Today marks another step toward healing and justice for all,” proclaimed Newsom in a press release. “Too many lives have been lost due to racial profiling and excessive use of force. We cannot change what is past, but we can build accountability, root out racial injustice and fight systemic racism. We are all indebted to the families who have persevered through their grief to continue this fight and work toward a more just future.”

California joins 46 other states that now allow officers to be fired for acting criminally and for incidents that involve racial bias and excessive force. But it is only one of four US states that have introduced a system like this according to the Daily Mail. Newsom also raised the minimum age for police officers from 18 to 21, banned some restraining techniques, and limited the use of rubber bullets employed for crowd control during protests.

While Newsom signed the bills, supporters chanted “Say his name,” in reference to Kenneth Ross Jr., a 25-year-old black man who was killed in 2018 when an officer shot him. An investigation determined that Officer Michael Robbins acted lawfully when he shot Ross.

Newsom had Ross’ mother, Fouzia Almarou, attend the signing ceremony for a photo-op. She hopes the legislation will prevent the loss of life, especially for black and brown suspects.

“This bill means a lot because it’s going to stop police from attacking and targeting and being racist towards black and brown people,” she said.

Sandra Quinto Collins, who is the mother of Angelo Quinto, wiped tears from her eyes as she thanked lawmakers for passing the reforms. Her son died when a San Francisco police officer pressed his knee against his neck during a mental health response.

“To lose a son, to lose a brother, sister, dad — that pain, that intensity, that expression is reflected not just in the words of these two remarkable women and their families, but we hope reflected in this legislation,” Newsom groveled.

Law enforcement is being encouraged to leave California after Newsom’s attack against them:

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