Kevin Baker, Legislative Director of the ACLU of California’s Center for Advocacy and Policy, issued the following statement in response to Governor Newsom’s nomination of Assemblymember Rob Bonta to Attorney General:
We congratulate Assemblymember Rob Bonta on his nomination to attorney general. Bonta has an opportunity to address structural racism in our criminal legal system and advance racial justice. In his role as the state’s chief law enforcement officer, we hope that he will lead California in reimagining public safety for our communities and reject the law enforcement lobby’s failed policies of mass incarceration and racist policing.
We call on the soon to be Attorney General Bonta to dedicate his office to the core principle of transparency and accountability for law enforcement by supporting our work to give the public access to police records related to use of force and misconduct; upholding California’s heightened standards for police use of deadly force; addressing issues with the CalGang database that uses unreliable processes and criteria to profile our community members; and, supporting decertification of peace officers who commit serious misconduct. We also call on AG Bonta to support the work of the Racial & Identity Profiling Advisory Board to mitigate the racial impacts of policing on California communities.
This appointment is an opportunity to create a California Department of Justice that is truly dedicated to justice and equality, we hope that the incoming attorney general will take on the task.