California officials approved a bill on Wednesday that would end the careers of police officers considered to be “bad apples,” as more and more people decry the surge of police brutality and killings.
However, even supporters of the bill believe the legislation still has room for improvement to make sure it does not provide a negative effect on the current system. They said the bill had vague language and that the disciplinary board could be biased against law enforcement.
California is the latest among the 46 states that have laws to decertify police officers found neglecting their duties. Los Angeles Senator Steven Bradford proposed the bill which is designed to prevent officers who have been convicted of serious crimes or fired due to misconduct from transferring to another police department.
“It’s easier to lose a license for giving a bad perm than it is for killing an unarmed man,” Bradford said.
The bill also limits the protection police officers have from being sued for civil rights abuses. Officials unanimously passed the bill with a 26-9 vote where Republicans were the ones opposed to the idea.
“This is the right thing to do. And a no vote on this measure says I’m fine with leaving the knee on the neck of Californians, I’m fine with leaving a knee on the neck of Americans, especially people of color,” Bradford said.
However, many criticized Bradford’s proposed disciplinary board as being biased, involving only two police representatives and seven members with professional or personal backgrounds opposed to police misconduct.
“It certainly seems to skew towards folks who are going to be pretty skeptical of police,” Senator Ben Allen said during the 75-minute debate for the bill. However, Senator Sydney Kamlager said the board would not be biased if it included people of color.
“Have some faith in people. News flash: Black folks, brown folks are pretty conservative when it comes to law enforcement. We like to be safe too,” she said, Mercury News reported.