State lawmakers fail to pass many police reform bills, despite support after George Floyd’s death

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Law enforcement personnel wearing riot gear watch as demonstrators protest against the shooting of Dijon Kizzee by Los Angeles sheriff's deputies, outside the Los Angeles County Sheriff's department station in Los Angeles, California, U.S., September 1, 2020. Photo credit: Patrick T. Fallon/Reuters

Several police reform bills await Governor Gavin Newsom’s signature. One requires the attorney general to investigate fatal police shootings of unarmed civilians. Another bans the use of chokeholds and neck restraints, like the kind that led to George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis. But there were also sweeping measures that failed.

“You’ve got to keep in mind that not only was this the year of George Floyd’s killing and the nationwide rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, but obviously it was also the year of the pandemic. And that interrupted and disrupted the normal functioning of the legislature tremendously,” says Laurel Rosenhall, political reporter for CalMatters.

She continues, “There was a huge pause in the process this spring, when the legislature basically went on hiatus for two months. That’s the season when a lot of bills normally would go through these lengthy committee hearings and really be hashed out in public debate. When they came back, there was [sic] all these new procedures. There was a lot less public participation in the Capitol because of the coronavirus and limitations.”