Politics

California governor signs 2 bills tied to police misconduct

SACRAMENTO, CA - MARCH 19: California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks during a news conference to announce emergency drought legislation on March 19, 2015 in Sacramento, California. As California enters its fourth year of severe drought, California Gov. Jerry Brown joined Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de Leon, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, Republican Leaders Senator Bob Huff and Assemblymember Kristin Olsen to announce emergency legislation that aims to assist local communities that are struggling with devastating drought. The $1 billion package is designed to expedite bond funding to help ensure that all Californians have access to local water supplies. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SACRAMENTO, CA - MARCH 19: California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks during a news conference to announce emergency drought legislation on March 19, 2015 in Sacramento, California. As California enters its fourth year of severe drought, California Gov. Jerry Brown joined Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de Leon, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, Republican Leaders Senator Bob Huff and Assemblymember Kristin Olsen to announce emergency legislation that aims to assist local communities that are struggling with devastating drought. The $1 billion package is designed to expedite bond funding to help ensure that all Californians have access to local water supplies. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed two bills relating to police misconduct in California as debates about the use of excessive force by officers continue across the country.

The bills make clear that it's legal to record or photograph police in public areas and prohibit using secret grand juries to try officers in cases of lethal force.

The Democratic governor announced Tuesday that he signed SB411 by Democratic Sen. Ricardo Lara of Bell Gardens, clarifying that recording police is not sufficient cause to charge people with obstruction of justice.

SB277 by Democratic Sen. Holly Mitchell of Los Angeles prohibits using grand juries to probe police shootings, which she says are too secretive. She cites the decision by a Ferguson, Missouri grand jury not to indict the officer who killed Michael Brown.