On July 1, Assembly Bill 1506 becomes California law. It will change the dynamics of how police-involved shooting investigations are handled by eliminating the influence of local law enforcement agencies and district attorneys in 58 counties.

The legislation, authored by Assemblyman Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), requires a state prosecutor from the attorney general’s office to investigate any incidents where an officer-involved shooting resulted in the death of an unarmed civilian (defined as any person not in possession of a deadly weapon) or questionable use of force.

AB 1506 creates a division within the Department of Justice (DOJ) to, upon a law enforcement agency’s request, review the agency’s use-of-force policy and make recommendations, as specified.

The bill also requires a state prosecutor to investigate incidents of an officer-involved shooting resulting in the death of an unarmed civilian, as defined. 

The bill, if criminal charges against the involved officer are found to be warranted, will allow the attorney general to prosecute.

The bill authorizes the state prosecutor to prepare a written report, and requires the state prosecutor to post any reports made on a public website.

As of July 1, 2023, the bill requires the attorney general to operate a “Police Practices Division” within the DOJ to review, upon the request of a local law enforcement agency, the use of deadly force policies of that law enforcement agency and to make recommendations.

If applicable, AB 1506 can be used to make recommendations to modify the policies and practices of the law enforcement agency.