LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Governor Gavin Newsom signed eight new bills into law Thursday in Gardena that will set in motion sweeping changes for law enforcement.
“We have a lot to be proud of, but there are areas where there is nothing to brag about,” Newsom said Thursday.READ MORE: FDA Advisory Panel Recommends Emergency Use Authorization For Johnson & Johnson Booster
During the signing, Newsom was flanked by family members of people killed by law enforcement, including the mother of Kenneth Ross Jr., an unarmed man having a mental crisis. Ross Jr. was shot in the back and killed by a Gardena Police officer.
Senate bill 2 was named in his honor.
“I’m appreciative. I love that they put in Kenneth’s name and he deserves it. He deserves justice for what happened to him,” said Fouzia Almarou, Ross Jr.’s mother.
Ross Jr.’s death sparked protests across LA. The law named after him creates a database of all officers who are suspended or fired for excessive force dishonesty and racial bias, preventing them from being hired at another department. The officer who killed Ross Jr. had three excessive force complaints in Orange County, but was hired in Gardena anyway.
“SB2 will end the cycle of what I say is the wash, rinse and repeat cycle of police misconduct and ensure all officers in the state of California are held to the same fair and appropriate standards,” State Senator Steven Bradford said.READ MORE: Some Parent Groups Proposing Monday 'Sit-Outs' At Schools To Protest Against Vaccine Mandates
Some police associations have been critical of parts of SB2. The LA Police Protective League called part of the process it will use to evaluate police misconduct “biased.”
The California Police Chiefs Association President, in a statement, said in part, “While we remain concerned with some of the vagueness in SB2, we are confident we can work together to implement a credible system, perceived as legitimate, which achieves our shared objective of removing officers who tarnish our profession.”
Another new law sets forth strict new guidelines for police when it comes to using rubber bullets and tear gas at protests. Black Lives Matter LA filed a lawsuit against the LAPD after many of these tactics were used during the Floyd protests.
“In this case, the fight has been long, and we won. We won,” said Black Lives Matter activist Melina Abdulla. “So, the bill being singed into law is a testament to Black Lives Matter organizing.”
Activists and family members who pushed for reform are hoping the laws will bring change in their communities.
“The bill is a good thing. It’s a step in the right direction, but it will never bring Kenneth back. I want justice for Kenneth,” Almarou said.MORE NEWS: Section Of MacArthur Park To Close To Begin Repairs, Maintenance Work
Officers accused of serious misconduct will now go before an advisory panel that will make a recommendation about whether they should be suspended or whether their badge should be taken away completely.