In an effort to reduce racial profiling and the use of excessive force by law-enforcement officers, Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday signed new bills that require officers to collect demographic data on people they stop, according to the Los Angeles Times.
One of the measures, known as A.B. 953, requires police officers to collect information, "including perceived race and ethnicity, the reason for the encounter and the outcome," the report says. Additionally, Brown signed a requirement that law-enforcement agencies produce annual reports with details on all occurrences of force that result in serious injury or death.
Those and others bills signed by the governor will "strengthen criminal justice in California," according to a statement by the governor’s office, the newspaper writes.
The move came after Assemblywoman Shirley N. Weber, a San Diego Democrat, introduced the bills in response to “the deaths of unarmed black men and other people of color by police,” which she said “have forced us to confront some ugly truths about the persistence of racial bias in law enforcement,” the report says.
“AB 953 will be the state’s first step toward not only understanding the problem of racial profiling, but also toward formulating policies to reduce the practice and its devastating consequences,” Weber said in a statement, thanking Brown for signing the bills, notes the report. “California is going in a new direction on this issue; hopefully, this will set an example for other states.”
Supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement and members of Communities United Coalition held vigils outside Brown’s office in recent days to advocate for the signing of the bills.
“Our communities have lived experiences with biased policing—ranging from racial profiling to excessive, and sometimes lethal, use of force,” Patrisse Cullors, founder of the civil rights group Dignity and Power Now, told the news outlet. “This inevitably breeds distrust in law enforcement, which in turn undermines the safety of all Californians.”
Read more at the Los Angeles Times.