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California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is accused of illegally refusing to comply with Senate Bill 1421, which required him to disclose the records of police officers.

Why does he do this?

https://www.ocregister.com/2020/06/09/xavier-becerras-empty-words-about-police-abuse/ https://www.mercurynews.com/2020/06/24/letter-editorial-was-right-about-becerra-police-on-reform/

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It seems like most of the recent articles I can find about the case are editorials against the AG, so I'm relying on statements and court filings from earlier in the year. This site claims the California Police Chief's Association released a statement from the Attorney General, but I can't find it on the CPCA website (if someone finds a primary link feel free to edit it in). Additionally, Courthouse News wrote an article summarizing the arguments made in the Court of Appeal in January 2020. Based on these sources, there appear to be certain disclosure requests the AG's office is refusing to comply with for at least the following reasons:

  • The request is made for an officer that does not work for the DoJ but was investigated by the DoJ. The AG's office contends that the officer's agency is better suited to handle the request for disclosure for those officers.
  • The request is made for records dating before the effective date of the legislation, January 1, 2019, which the AG's office argues are not included in the scope of the legislation.
  • The request is made for records that cannot be disclosed because they are covered by attorney-client privilege or are the work of attorneys and protected by the Code of Civil Procedure.

These arguments have been tested in Court of Appeal and appear to have been at least partially overruled by the Court of Appeal, though they may still be able to make similar arguments about specific requests under the ruling. I'd assume the AG's office has appealed the case to a higher court, which is why they still haven't complied with the requests they are arguing they do not need to comply with.

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