(CALMATTERS) – Shortly after Los Angeles police officers shot and killed a man brandishing a fake gun on a busy stretch of Hollywood Boulevard, investigators from a new California Department of Justice unit arrived on the scene.

That may not sound unusual — when someone is killed, law enforcement tends to investigate. But in fact, this was a first.

A law passed in 2020 requires the state attorney general to investigate any incident in which a police officer shoots and kills an unarmed civilian

Attorney General Rob Bonta, whom Newsom plucked out of the state Assembly in March to serve as the state’s top cop, knows all about the law. He was a co-author.

During his confirmation hearing, Bonta said he welcomed the opportunity to investigate police shootings — a notable break from his predecessor, Biden’s Health and Human Services secretary Xavier Becerra, who was more reluctant to tangle with cops and local prosecutors.

When Bonta announced earlier this month the formation of new investigatory units tasked with investigating these incidents, he emphasized that he looked forward to working alongside local law enforcement and prosecutors. 

But if push comes to shove…

“I’m honestly not expecting a lot of pushback or tension or obstacles. We will be prepared for any that do arise and we will fulfill our obligations under (the law).”