KBFK broadcaster Kitty O'Neil interviewed David P. Mastagni about AB 748. Governor Brown signed the bill, which requires public release of video and records relating to critical incident investigations.
O'Neil asked Mastagni what his concerns were about the new law. He explained, "My greater concern is that the release itself is going to interfere with every single solitary investigation. It’s going to cause witnesses to go into hiding. It’s going to jeopardize the safety of witnesses. Frankly, it’s going to jeopardize the safety of the officers. And it will definitely take a law enforcement function and make it a media ping pong game."
O'Neil continued asking what he thought was behind the creation of the bill. He explained, "I’ve dealt with the Legislature long enough to know they go by poll barometers and the never do anything based on the philosophic or best interests of society or law enforcement. It’s always on what their district is like. I call it promoability. That public service, Kitty, has just gone from where you had volunteer councilman and people serving out of civic duty and dedication to career advancement and therefore you take positions that will encourage your constituency in your local district then you take them that will encourage your nomination ability in bigger, more statewide elections and I think that it’s all a calculus. I’m sorry to say I don’t believe that the question of transparency or police-community relations – I think it’s there – but its maybe fifth, sixth, tenth down the line from how will this effect my career."
Listen to the whole interview here.