2005 Legislation

Kristie's Law (2005 version)
In 2005, Senator Sam Aanestad removed the immunity/accountability issue from Kristie's Law because he knew California's law enforcement groups were too powerful, making immunity "untouchable." Kristie's Law in 2005 was a statewide mandate restricting police vehicular pursuits to catching violent felons only.

The Issue
California continues to grant blanket immunity to law enforcement agencies even when officers fail to follow the pursuit policy their agency has actually adopted. Read about this unique—and deadly—state law; there is no accountability, click here.

Victims' Voices Silenced Again
Candy Priano's final testimony to the Senate Public Safety Committee, April 26, 2005.

California State Senator Sam Aanestad, author of Kristie's Law
"I introduced Kristie's Law for one simple reason: to save lives. An innocent child in my district was killed in a high-speed police pursuit, and the police weren't even after some violent, dangerous criminal. They were chasing a teenage girl for driving her mother's car without permission. There's something very wrong when the police response to a crime poses a greater threat to public safety than the crime itself." For details about Chico's Deadly Chase, click here. 

CNN reports
How police chases really work

Capt. Travis Yates of the Tulsa, Ok., police department moderates the Policedriving.com Web site. A high-speed chase, Yates said, is one of the few times when police officers will knowingly put the lives of innocent civilians at risk. Because of the high risk, he said, many municipalities now ban chases except in cases where the suspect is clearly dangerous and cannot be apprehended any other way.

San Francisco Chronicle's Open Forum 
Police-pursuit bill misses the point

California's Senate Bill 719, at best, is an after-the-fact piece of legislation: after a child is killed, after a young father is facially disfigured for life from a fiery crash, after a mother and three teens are killed in a pursuit through a school zone at 3 p.m., or after a baby's arm is severed. These are real-life tragedies of police chases gone very badly awry in California. And yes, the families of these victims blame the people who flee for these tragedies. But just as true, Californians deserve a more preventive measure to ensure that our pursuit policies and practices will be followed in order to save lives.

Kristie's Law Defeated

Don Thompson, Associated Press
"One person a week dies in a pursuit in California," said Senator Sam Aanestad—by far the highest number and per capita rate in the nation. In one recent week, five people in California died in chases, the senator said.

Kristie's Law is a preventative measure, click here

 
Analysis of Kristie's Law 2005 (Click Here)


Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signs 
California's Do-nothing Legislation, SB 719


Governor Schwarzenegger signs Romero bill on pursuits, sponsored by law enforcement.
Dangerous Pursuits
Few California law enforcement agencies and/or officers are publicly brought to account when officers fail to follow their own agency's pursuit policy.

—Candy Priano, May 2, 2005

 

Editorials

"Cops forget the innocent in high-speed chases," North County Times

"Police, bystanders' lives at stake,"
Ventura County Star 

Police-pursuit bill requires real teeth, San Francisco Chronicle 
(
This opinion piece was also published in the LA Daily News)


More opinions: click here