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CA senator seeks to eliminate grand juries in police shootings




Michael Brown's parents Lesley McSpadden (left) and Michael Brown Sr. (right) flank attorney Anthony Gray as he speaks at a news conference. A grand jury recommended not to bring charges against the officer who shot and killed Brown.
Michael Brown's parents Lesley McSpadden (left) and Michael Brown Sr. (right) flank attorney Anthony Gray as he speaks at a news conference. A grand jury recommended not to bring charges against the officer who shot and killed Brown.
Jeff Roberson/AP

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California State Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) is seeking to eliminate grand juries in cases of officer-involved shootings, citing a need to increase transparency and accountability in such cases.

Mitchell, whose district includes Culver City and Leimert Park, said the bill, SB 227, would prohibit the use of criminal grand juries when a suspect dies after a shooting or other deadly force.

"Community mistrust in the justice system arises when the public's right to know is abridged," said Mitchell in a statement. "People want to know why, what accountability will ensue, and how fatal confrontations can be prevented."

The grand jury process has drawn attention after juries recently decided not to bring charges to police officers after deadly confrontations in both Ferguson, Missouri and New York.

Supporters of the grand jury process point to a need to preserve confidentiality in certain cases.