By Amy Berberyan
SACRAMENTO, CA – The murder of George Floyd on May 20, 2020, occurred during his arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and resulted in public outcry against police brutality—four police officers were present during Floyd’s arrest, and three of them stood and watched as Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes, resulting in Floyd’s death.
Chauvin was charged with second- and third-degree murder, as well as second-degree manslaughter. And the other officers made no attempts to help Floyd, and prevented witnesses from coming to his aid. They were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder, and later aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.
California Assemblymember Chris Holden authored AB 26, police reform legislation that “[established] clear guidelines for police responsibility and accountability when witnessing excessive force by another member of law enforcement.”
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed this legislation on September 30, 2021.
Lawmaker Holden stated the signing was a “big step forward for police responsibility and accountability.”
AB 26 includes intervention methods such as confrontation, recording with body cameras, and prohibiting retaliation toward officers who reported incidents of excessive force.
Furthermore, this legislation promises punishment to police officers who fail to intervene in instances of excessive force that they would be in a position to stop.
AB 26, Holden asserts, makes it “crystal clear in our state law what is a peace officer’s duty to intervene when witnessing excessive force.”
AB 26 aims to prevent the injustice of what happened to George Floyd from occurring again, and Holden hopes that it will work toward “building [the] public trust that has eroded between law enforcement and communities across California.”