BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The Bakersfield Police Officers Association has dropped a lawsuit which was filed last month to stop the release of specific police records related to Senate Bill 1421, according to a representative of BPOA.
23ABC reported in March that the Association joined multiple police unions across California by filing a claim against Kern County.
The complaint was filed in response to SB 1421 which was signed into law last September and went into effect at the beginning of the year. The new law requires certain peace officer records be made available for public inspection through the California Public Records Act.
The complaint also states that SB 1421 contains no legislative direction for a retroactive application of the law, but BPOA said through conversations with the city of Bakersfield they believe the city intends to share records and has been sharing records related to incidents that happened prior to the start of the year.
Bakersfield Police have released a statement on the lawsuit,
As previously stated I completely understand the BPOA's position and I was advised by their leadership when the decision was made to drop the lawsuit. The BPOA represents its members well and always conduct themselves with professionalism when collaborating or discussing issues such as these with the BPD and City of Bakersfield leadership. We will continue to follow the law and work together with each and every employee of the Bakersfield Police Department to keep this city safe every day for every person who lives, works or visits.
According to a representative of BPOA, they took into consideration the recent 1st court of appeal decision which ruled to release the records and the ALCU's petition to intervene.