The overhaul in and scrutiny of how police conduct themselves while on duty has pushed a new drive for the public to gain access to public records. Police brutality cases have increased each year, with the black community seeing the most deaths from police shootings. According to Statista, since November of 2022, 933 people have been killed in a shooting involving police, with black people topping that at the highest killed at 139.
This fact brought about the formation of the Black Lives Matter movement, which brought attention to how many black individuals were being shot and killed by police officers. Access to those police records is now more vital than ever as families try to prove police misconduct resulting in the deaths of their loved ones. Plus, knowing what is going on with the police in your community is important.
What is Police Brutality?
The debate over what the term police brutality means is still yet to be solved. A general definition of police brutality is when police have crossed the line, i.e. misconduct, during an encounter with an individual, causing harm from physical violence and/or weapons. This is a huge spectrum to consider, which is likely why there are many definitions.
The Right To Know Act: SB1421
California is taking steps to increase transparency and address the issue of police misconduct. The California Legislature passed SB1421, or The Right To Know Act, in 2018, which requires all law enforcement agencies to create and maintain a searchable database of officer-involved shootings, use of force incidents, and sustained findings of misconduct. Additionally, the bill requires agencies to provide the public and the media with access to this information. This new law will help to ensure that law enforcement agencies are held accountable for their actions and that the public can access information related to all officer misconduct.
What is The San Jose Web Portal?
In San Jose, the city is providing an easier way for citizens to read and gain knowledge about police misconduct cases within the city. The San Jose Portal provides the auditor’s reports on police brutality cases and officer complaints. Not including videos obtained by police body cameras and actual police reports, the San Jose Web Portal will allow for all documented misconduct cases that have been reviewed by the police auditor, to be read and/or downloaded.
“The great thing about this particular tool is that it is very friendly and available to the public who may not know the ins and outs of this legislation,” Shivaun Nurre, the city’s independent police auditor, said to the San Jose Spotlight.
The police auditor has worked with the city of San Jose independently since 1993.
The auditor reports do not contain as much detail as a public records request does. However, it is quicker and still gives the user important information on cases. The database allows the public to input specifics about the case they are looking to find. Mayor Sam Liccardo is hopeful other cities will adopt the same type of portal once they see how successful it is in providing the public with what they are doing to fight police misconduct.
Police Misconduct Lawyer for Los Angeles, Orange County and Beyond
Police misconduct transparency is very important to keep officers accountable. However, it’s not going to be the solution until justice is served. If you or a loved one has been a victim of misconduct such as shooting, suffocation, or abuse resulting in serious injury and or death. please reach out to us. Our civil rights attorneys offer free consultations.