Court Rejects Challenge to California Police Transparency Law

The California Supreme Court on Wednesday denied a sheriff union’s request to block a new state law that provides public access to past police-misconduct and use-of-force records.

The San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies’ union sought an emergency intervention from the California Supreme Court to block the new law before the New Year.

In a petition filed Dec. 18, the union said the new law should only apply to records created after Jan. 1, when the law took effect. It argued California law offers heightened privacy protections to police officers.

Under Senate Bill 1421, access to internal records on police shootings, use of force by officers, complaints on sexual assault by on-duty officers, and other misconduct are available to the public. The law also applies retroactively to records created before 2019.