Amended in Assembly April 14, 2016

Amended in Assembly March 17, 2016

California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 1940


Introduced by Assembly Member Cooper

February 12, 2016


An act to addbegin delete Section 6254.31 to the Government Code, and to addend delete Section 832.19 to the Penal Code, relating to peace officers.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 1940, as amended, Cooper. Peace officers: body-worn cameras: policies and procedures.

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(1) Existing

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begin insertExistingend insert law requires law enforcement agencies, departments, or entities to consider specified best practices regarding the downloading and storage of body-worn camera data when establishing policies and procedures for the implementation and operation of a body-worn camera system, such as designating the person responsible for downloading the recorded data from the body-worn camera, and establishing when data should be downloaded to ensure the data is entered into the system in a timely manner and the cameras are properly maintained and ready for the next use.

This bill would require a law enforcement agency, department, or entity, if it employs peace officers and uses body-worn cameras for those officers, to develop a body-worn camera policy. The bill would require the policy to allow a peace officer to review his or her body-worn camera video and audio recordings before making a report, giving an internal affairs statement, or before any criminal or civil proceeding. The bill would encourage the law enforcement agency, department, or entity to include specified considerations in the policy, including the time, place, circumstances, and duration in which the body-worn camera is operational and the availability of the policy to peace officers and members of the public.

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(2) Existing law, the California Public Records Act, requires state and local agencies to make their records available for public inspection, unless an exemption from disclosure applies.

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This bill would exempt body-worn camera recordings that depict the use of force resulting in serious injury or death from public disclosure pursuant to the act unless a judicial determination is made, after the adjudication of any civil or criminal proceeding related to the use of force incident, that the interest in public disclosure outweighs the need to protect the individual right to privacy.

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(3) Existing constitutional provisions require that a statute that limits the right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies be adopted with findings demonstrating the interest protected by the limitation and the need for protecting that interest.

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This bill would make legislative findings to that effect.

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(4) The California Constitution requires local agencies, for the purpose of ensuring public access to the meetings of public bodies and the writings of public officials and agencies, to comply with a statutory enactment that amends or enacts laws relating to public records or open meetings and contains findings demonstrating that the enactment furthers the constitutional requirements relating to this purpose.

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This bill would make legislative findings to that effect.

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(5) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

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This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

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Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: begin deleteyes end deletebegin insertnoend insert.

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

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SECTION 1.  

Section 6254.31 is added to the Government
2Code
, to read:

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6254.31.  

(a) A visual or audio recording made by a peace
2officer’s body-worn camera during the performance of his or her
3duties that depicts use of force resulting in serious injury or death
4is confidential and shall not be disclosed to any member of the
5public pursuant to this chapter unless it is determined that the
6interest in public disclosure outweighs the need to protect the
7individual right to privacy.

8(b) This determination is subject to a judicial order that shall
9only occur after the adjudication of any civil or criminal proceeding
10related to the use of force incident involving the peace officer.

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12
begin insertSECTION 1.end insert  

Section 832.19 is added to the Penal Code, to
13read:

14

832.19.  

(a) (1) If a law enforcement agency, department, or
15entity that employs peace officers uses body-worn cameras for
16those officers, the agency, department, or entity shall develop a
17policy relating to the use of body-worn cameras.

18(2) The following definitions shall apply to this section:

19(A) “Body-worn camera” means a device attached to the uniform
20or body of a peace officer that records video, audio, or both, in a
21digital or analog format.

22(B) “Peace officer” means any person designated as a peace
23officer pursuant to this chapter.

24(b) (1) The policy shall allow a peace officer to review his or
25her body-worn camera video and audio recordings before he or
26she makes a report, is ordered to give an internal affairs statement,
27or before any criminal or civil proceeding.

28(2) A peace officer is not required to review his or her
29body-worn camera video and audio recordings before making a
30report, giving an internal affairs statement, or before any criminal
31or civil proceeding.

32(c) The policy shall be developed in accordance with the
33Meyers-Milias-Brown Act (Chapter 10 (commencing with Section
343500) of Division 4 of Title 1 of the Government Code) and the
35Ralph C. Dills Act (Chapter 10.3 (commencing with Section 3512)
36of Division 4 of Title 1 of the Government Code).

37(d) In developing the policy, law enforcement agencies,
38departments, or entities are encouraged to include the following
39in the policy:

P4    1(1) The time, place, circumstances, and duration in which the
2body-worn camera shall be operational.

3(2) Which peace officers shall wear the body-worn camera and
4when they shall wear it.

5(3) Prohibitions against the use of body-worn camera equipment
6and footage in specified circumstances, such as when the peace
7officer is off-duty.

8(4) The type of training and length of training required for
9body-worn camera usage.

10(5) Public notification of field use of body-worn cameras,
11including the circumstances in which citizens are to be notified
12that they are being recorded.

13(6) The manner in which to document a citizen’s refusal from
14being recorded under certain circumstances.

15(7) The use of body-worn camera video and audio recordings
16in internal affairs cases.

17(8) The use of body-worn camera video and audio recordings
18in criminal and civil case preparation and testimony.

19(9) The transfer and use of body-worn camera video and audio
20recordings to other law enforcement agencies, including
21establishing what constitutes a need-to-know basis and what
22constitutes a right-to-know basis.

23(10) The policy may be available to all peace officers in a written
24form.

25(11) The policy may be available to the public for viewing.

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26

SEC. 3.  

The Legislature finds and declares that Section 1 of
27this act, which adds Section 6254.31 to the Government Code,
28imposes a limitation on the public’s right of access to the meetings
29of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies
30within the meaning of Section 3 of Article I of the California
31Constitution. Pursuant to that constitutional provision, the
32Legislature makes the following findings to demonstrate the interest
33protected by this limitation and the need for protecting that interest:

34The need to protect individual privacy and the credibility and
35integrity of official ongoing investigations and those persons
36subject to those investigations from the public disclosure of video
37and audio recordings captured by a body-worn camera outweighs
38the interest in the public disclosure of that information.

39

SEC. 4.  

The Legislature finds and declares that Section 1 of
40this act, which adds Section 6254.31 to the Government Code,
P5    1furthers, within the meaning of paragraph (7) of subdivision (b)
2of Section 3 of Article I of the California Constitution, the purposes
3of that constitutional section as it relates to the right of public
4access to the meetings of local public bodies or the writings of
5local public officials and local agencies. Pursuant to paragraph (7)
6of subdivision (b) of Section 3 of Article I of the California
7Constitution, the Legislature makes the following findings:

8Protecting the privacy of a person whose image is captured by
9a peace officer’s body-worn camera enhances public safety, the
10protection of individual rights, and the credibility and integrity of
11official ongoing investigations and those persons subject to those
12investigations, thereby furthering the purposes of Section 3 of
13Article I of the California Constitution.

14

SEC. 5.  

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
15Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
16the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
17district under this act would result from a legislative mandate that
18is within the scope of paragraph (7) of subdivision (b) of Section
193 of Article I of the California Constitution.

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