Several top prosecutors in California have thrown their support behind a new criminal justice reform bill, which seeks to remove conflict of interests between district attorneys and police officers.
As per the bill, if district attorneys have received campaign contributions from Police Officers Associations, those D.A.'s would have to recuse themselves from any cases involving law enforcement officers represented by that P.O.A.
The bill was introduced by East Bay Assemblyman Rob Bonta, who said the goal is to insure fairness in the legal system.
“It does this by holding district attorneys responsible for their duties to the public as both lawyers and elected officials, and that’s a really important specification,” Bonta said in a virtual conference on Thursday.
The bill is backed by several California district attorneys, like San Francisco’s Chesa Boudin, who said that it’s a historic piece of legislation.
“This bill is a critical step towards increased police accountability and to promoting independence in prosecutor’s offices.” Boudin said.
In a statement, the Oakland Police Officers Association said it is a "slippery slope" and a violation of officers First Amendment right to free speech, and if passed, this legislation would, “silence the voices of thousands of officers—men and women—who risk their lives every day to keep our families and communities safe.”