Jerry Brown signs racial profiling bill, vetoes date rape measure

Amid ongoing tension between minorities and police across the country, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Saturday requiring law enforcement officials to gather and report detailed information about the stops they make.

But Brown vetoed a slate of other crime-related bills, including one focused on date rape and another that would have banned elephant handlers from using bullhooks. In a veto message, the fourth-term Democrat criticized a “multiplication and particularization of criminal behavior” that he said would only make California’s criminal code more complex.

Brown’s signature on Assembly Bill 953, by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, followed high-profile deaths of unarmed black men in New York and Ferguson, Mo., and videos of confrontations between police and minorities in other cities.

The bill will require officers to record the reason for each stop they make, the result and the perceived race, gender and approximate age of the person stopped, among other information.

Proponents of the legislation said collecting data on police stops – and providing it to the California attorney general – would illuminate evidence of racial profiling. Earlier this summer, activists blockaded Brown’s office and staged a “die-in” to draw attention to the bill.

Law enforcement groups that opposed the legislation argued it would hamper officers with needless paperwork.

Brown vetoed 11 crime-related bills, including one that would have made it a felony to possess date-rape drugs with the intent to commit a sexual assault. He also rejected a bill that would have made California the first state in the nation to ban elephant handlers from using bullhooks, as well as three drone-related bills.

In a message accompanying nine of the bills he vetoed, Brown said “each of these bills creates a new crime – usually by finding a novel way to characterize and criminalize conduct that is already proscribed.

“The multiplication and particularization of criminal behavior creates increasing complexity without commensurate benefit.”

Source: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article37586379.html

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