Politicians Passing Bill to Ban Investigations Into Police Who Shoot Americans

Alexei Koseff | The Sacramento Bee

Grand juries would be prohibited from investigating police shootings and cases where an individual dies from excessive force during an arrest under a bill passed Thursday by the California state Senate.

Protests sprouted up nationwide last fall after grand juries in Missouri and New York declined to indict white police officers who had killed unarmed black men during confrontations.

The system, in which a jury of citizens weighs the evidence to decide whether to bring charges, came under fire for its secrecy.

Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, who introduced Senate Bill 227, argued that the lack of transparency and oversight in grand jury deliberations, which do not involve judges, defense attorneys or cross-examination of witnesses, did not serve the public.

“The use of the criminal grand jury has fostered an atmosphere of suspicion that threatens to compromise the nature of our justice system,” she said.

By banning the use of grand juries, the decision to prosecute officers would rest solely with local district attorneys. Mitchell said forcing district attorneys, who are elected, to deal with these cases would provide accountability.

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 3660 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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  • dufas_duck

    “The use of the criminal grand jury has fostered an atmosphere of
    suspicion that threatens to compromise the nature of our justice
    system,” she said.

    The justice system is already a joke. Then to depend solely on “We have investigated ourselves and found we never do anything wrong” makes things worse even though a grand jury usually will believe everything a prosecutor says and fails to indict a policeman. What makes you think that a prosecutor is not going to do the same thing when left to his/her own devises. It just shortens the time when the cop gets a pass. Remember…the police and the prosecutor sleep in the same bed and support one another….

    Why not let the citizens that are arrested do their own investigation and then determine if they are going to trial…That would be the same bias that prosecutors use on police….

    • Jerry Smith

      I do support Bill 227 at 1000 percent and more !!!!

      • Tracy Lynn Davis Butler

        My husband & I have been violated in our small rural town. Not in any beatings or shootings but fear it is just a matter of time before it progresses. I am dealing with a bit of Nepotism!!!
        I do wish Tn. would pass a bill as SB 227..

    • ronson1977

      I hear what you’re saying and I was along the same lines but the person above brings a good point. With the pressure now residing on the shoulders of an accountable individual, the need to please the pubic will be much more. Of course only time will tell if this new route will prove effective.

      • dufas_duck

        But, accountable to who?? This is not going to stop ‘the good ol’ boy, police, DA, Judge’ network. Even juries are a problem. There are too many people that believe every word that a police utters is the gospel truth. Police, DAs take advantage of this belief all the time. It is very difficult to find truly unbiased people in any group that will seek the truth and not just rely on the word of a police officer.. I would have to recuse myself because I have seen too many officers make false charges or lie to cover for their or other officer’s actions…

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  • Max

    not a bad idea. How can this be?! For I am the Quisart Sadarak! No, really. Nobody has recourse against a [corrupt] Grand Jury, nor is there any accountability. This way, WE have a DA and a Judge, both of whom can be held accountable and liable for showing ANY type of FAVORTISM, BIAS, PREJUDICE or any appearance of CONFLICT of [LEGAL] INTEREST. We will know who is RESPONSIBLE for allowing a criminal back on Public Service pay when they should have gone to prison.

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  • Nick Clark

    “The use of the criminal grand jury has fostered an atmosphere of suspicion that threatens to compromise the nature of our justice system,”………no shit, the nature of the system of corrupt.

  • Padge Vounder

    this is stupid, DAs are working closely with their buddy cops