AB 1506: Officer-Involved Shooting Investigations and Reviews
Pursuant to California Assembly Bill 1506 (AB 1506), the California Department of Justice is required to investigate all incidents of an officer-involved shooting resulting in the death of an unarmed civilian in the state. Historically, these critical incidents in California had been primarily handled by local law enforcement agencies and the state’s 58 district attorneys.
However, signed into law on September 30, 2020 and in effect on July 1, 2021, AB 1506 provides the California Department of Justice with an important tool to directly help build and maintain trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve by creating a mandate for an independent, statewide prosecutor, moving forward, to investigate and review officer-involved shootings of unarmed civilians across California. The California Department of Justice will investigate and review for potential criminal liability all such incidents covered under AB 1506, as enacted in California Government Code section 12525.3.
When an officer-involved shooting occurs, transparent and open communication is critical to maintain public trust. As part of that and in alignment with AB 1506, the California Department of Justice will, as soon as feasible and appropriate, disseminate relevant information and materials about covered incidents and, ultimately, make public its determinations regarding the criminal prosecution of such incidents. Where criminal charges are not appropriate, the California Department of Justice will prepare and make public a written report communicating:
- A statement of facts, as revealed by the investigation;
- An analysis of those facts in light of applicable law;
- An explanation of why it was determined that criminal charges were not appropriate; and
- Where applicable, recommendations to modify the policies and practices of the involved law enforcement agency.
Given the dynamic nature of these sensitive incidents, the California Department of Justice is limited in the information it can provide with regard to such ongoing investigations. However, we will make every effort to provide updates as soon as feasible and strive to be as transparent as possible throughout the process about what information is currently available for disclosure. For ease of access and use, much of that information will be made directly available on this website. In addition, members of the media and the public can also read about the California Department of Justice’s protocols and policies for these incidents below:
- General Guidance and Procedures
- Information Bulletin on AB 1506 Definitions and Law Enforcement Agency’s Notification Responsibility
- Criminal Review Protocols
- Investigation Procedural Guidelines
- Protocols for Impacted Family Members
- Communications Policy on Release of Incident Information
Lastly, anyone who wishes to make a complaint about law enforcement at any point during this process or in general may do so through the online complaint form available here: https://oag.ca.gov/police-complaints.