SACRAMENTO – Today, the California Senate voted to approve Assembly Bill 3131, a bill to increase transparency and accountability in law enforcement’s acquisition of military equipment. The bill was introduced by Assemblymembers Todd Gloria (D-San Diego) and David Chiu (D-San Francisco).
Eva Brittan, Staff Attorney for the ACLU of Southern California, had this to say in response:
We commend the California Senate for taking this commonsense step to rein in unchecked police militarization in California. Over the last decade, wartime assault rifles, grenade launchers, armored tanks, and other military equipment have invaded California neighborhoods – and even our schools.
Often times, agencies acquire military equipment without communities knowing beforehand and without any accountability mechanisms in place. This is unacceptable. California is not a warzone and Californians shouldn’t be treated like enemy combatants.
AB 3131 will restore much-needed transparency and accountability to the process by requiring that law enforcement agencies provide notice to the public and that they publish military use policies before acquiring specified military equipment. We urge Governor Brown to sign the bill into law.