California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed eight police reform bills into law on Thursday, with the sweeping new measures doing everything from raising the minimum age of officers from 18 to 21 to enacting statewide standards on use of rubber bullets and tear gas used for crowd control.
Newsom signed the bills days after congressional bipartisan negotiations for police reform legislation fell apart. "I want folks not to lose hope, that just because things aren't happening in Washington, D.C., that we can't move the needle here, not just in our state but in states all across the country," he said.
California lawmakers got to work on the legislation in the wake of George Floyd's murder, as protesters took to the streets to demand accountability for police officers who use excessive force. One of the new measures signed by Newsom decertifies police officers found to have engaged in serious misconduct, including excessive force, racial bias, and dishonest.
"We are in a crisis of trust when it comes to law enforcement right now," California Attorney General Rob Bonta (D) said on Thursday, adding that he believes these new laws will create "more trust, more transparency, and more accountability."