Up against the police secrecy lobby - Page 2


Ma, apparently, was among those who bought the police line: she told the Guardian she was "not prepared to vote for Leno's bill as it was" but would be willing to accept a compromise that "also protects the rights of family members." Remember, nothing in Leno's bill in any way endangers or provides any information on any member of a police officer's family.

The only good news is that a similar, slightly weaker bill, SB 1019, by state senator Gloria Romero (D-Los Angeles), has cleared the Senate's Public Safety Committee and will go to the Senate floor - and if it passes, it will come before the Assembly. So there's still a chance to pass some version of a police accountability and sunshine bill this year.

It's crucial that public officials and particularly law enforcement leaders speak out in favor of this legislation. The city of Berkeley has formally endorsed the bill, but Mayor Gavin Newsom and Oakland mayor Ron Dellums have been silent and need to speak up. So should San Francisco sheriff Mike Hennessey (who told us he supports the idea in principle but thinks Leno's proposal goes too far) and District Attorney Kamala Harris.

And Fiona Ma needs to hear, loudly, from her constituents: police accountability is a priority, and she can't get away with ducking it. *