David Snyder, California, Ted Goldberg discussed on All Things Considered

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A California law scheduled to take affect January. First is expected to give the public for the first time in decades access to police records on misconduct in the use of force, but a new legal challenge could dramatically weaken it by making it apply only to actions that take place after the new year not before more on that challenge in a moment. Now, David Snyder, executive director of the San Rafael based first amendment coalition lobbied in favor of the law SP, fourteen twenty one he says, it would be a historic reform and would shed light on allegations of police misconduct of the most serious kind discharge a firearm, resulting death or great bodily injury acts of dishonesty perjury or falsifying documents sexual assault. All of these records rescue fourteen twenty one will now be available public. Yeah. Before this Bill was passed. Those kinds of records were in a black box is actually the public was actively shut out from access that was a problem a real problem because it presents the public from actions by police officers that resulted real harm to the public. Police officers have enormous discretion in power, including the ability to take away people's personal liberty and even their life. And so the ability to overseas, those types of officials is is really paramount to the public's interest. But you may attorney Michael rains who's filed the challenge, but the California Supreme Court told Ted Goldberg his reading of the law is that it only applies to police records after it goes into effect if a public record act demand for peace officer personnel records is given to an. Agency on January first of twenty nineteen demanding records that pertain to events that occurred prior to that date. That's what we're challenging. And we believe the law is clear that it does not allow agencies to disclose personnel records that pertained to events predating January one twenty nineteen we were under the impression. I imagine other news organisations were were as well that this was not about new actions in new documents. It would be created post January first two thousand nineteen but that it would reveal that would help reveal information about the past actions that police officers previous to this coming January what in your mind, you know, why was there different sort of public perception about the law? I understand that there. There will be some people that say, gee, we would sure like to have access to these records predate January one. But but understand I mean, he saw. Shire's in California. Do have this special and have special statutory and constitutional protection to their peace officer personnel files for years and years that has been done by the legislature. Not by the peace officers themselves peace officers are also singled out as a classified employees where the legislature has said, let's invite people to make complaints against them. And let's let them know that those complaints will be investigated and how they'll be investigated literally police officers, and the only class of employees that have that mandate that was Michael Raines and attorney representing police unions and before that David Snyder with the first amendment coalition. The state supreme court has been asked for a ruling before the law goes into effect on January first I'm Jeremy Siegel. This is Katie reading news. Support comes from total wine and more with more than eight thousand wines from around the world for toasting the new year. Support for K Q E D comes from Sony Pictures classics presenting capper nam, a new film by nodding Baki about a twelve year old Lebanese boys..

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