SF District Attorney

San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin Praises Senate’s Passage of AB 127, Which He Cosponsored, and Urges Governor Newsom To Sign it into Law

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Rachel Marshall, (415) 416-4468, Rachel.Marshall@sfgov.org     

San Francisco—Today, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin announces that the California State Senate has passed AB 127, sending the bill to the Governor’s desk.  District Attorney Boudin cosponsored AB 127, which was authored by Senator Sydney Kamlager, and District Attorney Boudin testified on its behalf earlier this week.  The bill would remove obstacles to prosecutors holding police accountable and is one of a slate of bills before the State Legislature that District Attorney Boudin has cosponsored this year.

“I am thrilled that the Senate has passed AB 127 to reduce barriers to holding police accountable by allowing prosecutors to seek an arrest warrant even when other law enforcement officers are unwilling to assist in the prosecution of a fellow officer,” said District Attorney Boudin. “As the horrific murder of George Floyd reminds us, now, more than ever, we must find ways to ensure accountability for law enforcement officers who break the trust we place in them.  As a proud cosponsor of AB 127, I thank Senator Kamlager for authoring it and urge Governor Newsom to sign this important bill into law.”

“I’m immensely grateful and excited to see AB 127 pass out of the Legislature this morning. We cannot allow police officers who’ve continually victimized Californians to evade accountability by hiding behind procedural barriers or capitalizing off their fellow officers’ unwillingness to speak out. With the Senate passing AB 127 today, this bill is headed to the Governor’s desk and we’re a step closer to forging a path of police accountability in this state,” said Senator Sydney K. Kamlager, who authored the bill. “I thank my Legislative colleagues as well as San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin for recognizing the bureaucratic hurdles that have been used to shield law enforcement, and urge Governor Newsom to sign AB 127 into law.”

One obstacle to prosecution of police officers is the frequent unwillingness of law enforcement officers to assist in the prosecution of one of their own. This can lead to law enforcement officers refusing to provide the necessary information to support an arrest warrant. AB 127 would make it easier to secure arrest warrants against officers who break the law.  The bill would expand who can attest to probable cause for arrest when the subject of that arrest is a peace officer.  This will remove a common barrier to police prosecutions. 

Since taking office in 2020, District Attorney Boudin has enacted numerous measures to ensure police are held accountable for criminal acts, just like any other person in San Francisco.  He also restructured the District Attorney’s Office’s Independent Investigation Bureau (“IIB”), which has now filed charges against five law enforcement officers in connection with four different incidents.

Experts in police accountability praised the Legislature’s passage of AB 127 and District Attorney Boudin’s role in supporting it. “We must work to reduce the many barriers—including longstanding resistance from law enforcement—to holding police accountable.  I commend District Attorney Boudin for advocating for important policy changes like this one that enable other prosecutors to join him in filing charges when officers break the law,” said longtime police reform advocate and retired ACLU police practices expert John Crew.  “AB 127 would play an important role in making it easier to hold accountable police who abuse our trust and engage in criminal conduct.  I thank District Attorney Boudin for cosponsoring AB 127 along with Senator Kamlager for her authorship, and I hope the Governor quickly signs it into law. ”