Friday, August 31, 2018

KFBK Talk Radio Host John McGinness Interviews David E. Mastagni on AB 931

KFBK Talk Radio Host John McGinness interviewed Mastagni Holstedt partner David E. Mastagni on August 30, 2018 about AB 931, the proposed state law that would have radically changed officer use of force standards.  The bill stalled in the State Assembly yesterday when Speaker Toni Atkins shelved the bill for this legislative session. 

McGinness introduced Mastagni as, "a well-known member of a prominent law firm family," and explained he shared law enforcement concerns about the bill, saying, "We recognize the tremendous flawed changed of what had been proposed and celebrate the fact that at least for now it didn’t happen and I also understand that a significant amount of the work that was done on this is credited to you."  David explained, "I wouldn’t take all the credit on this; I worked with a great team.  From the President of PORAC and their lobbyist to the Cal Chiefs, a long with a lot of other law enforcement stakeholders."

McGinness asked about the constitutional issues about AB 931.  David explained, "We would have been headed to a massive constitutional challenge on this.  The California Constitution, in article 1, section 1, expressly provides every citizen of California the right of self-defense and the defense of property.  And what this bill would have done is it would have held officers to an impossible standard that was much higher than you and I and every other citizen of this state and treated them differently because of their status as a peace officer, which raises another serious constitutional question under the 14th amendment and that’s equal protection."

They also discussed the immediate impacts to officer and public safety.  David explained, "I think [AB 931] would incentivize officers not to do anything and we’ve seen this happen back east.  Baltimore is a great example."

"As a citizen and a father it is of great concern to me as well.  What this kind of legislation really does is it creates a huge disincentive for officers to engage in proactive policing.  Proactive policing and community policing over the last couple of decades is where we’ve seen the best results in reducing crime."

"And it’s going to incentive officers to wait for a call for service and respond only to that call because the feeling will be you can’t second guess me for going where you ordered me to go but if I engage in proactive policing and something happens that controversial I’m going to get second guessed; I’m going to get second guessed from this impossible standard that the Ninth Circuit has even said that would require super human judgement.”

You can listen the whole interview here.