California Appeals Court Rules in Favor of Releasing Police Misconduct & Shooting Records

In a legal blow to police unions trying to block the release of officers’ disciplinary and use-of-force records, a state appeals court on Tuesday declined to hear arguments seeking to overturn a Contra Costa County judge’s ruling last month that pre-2019 records can be made public, and let that decision stand.

Appellate judges found no reason to consider that Superior Court Judge Charles Treat’s Feb. 8 decision that the state’s new police transparency law, Senate Bill 1421, covered past years would be overturned on appeal and declined to hear the case. A stay on the release of records will end on March 19 unless the unions appeal to the state Supreme Court.

“For the reasons stated by the trial court, appellants’ argument is without merit,” the court’s order says.

Unions representing cops in Walnut Creek, Antioch, Concord, Martinez, Richmond and at the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Department appealed Treat’s decision. They’d sued their cities in January to block disclosure of the records.

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Attorneys for the police unions did not immediately respond to a request for comment late Tuesday.

Rick Perez intervened in the case trying to get records on the 2014 killing of his son Richard “Pedie” Perez by Richmond police officers.

“I just want the truth,” Rick Perez said Tuesday. “I don’t know why the police wouldn’t want it released. I’m happy” with the decision.

 

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