New Bill Would Authorize Police Officers to Make Warrantless Arrests

Tanu Henry, Antonio Ray Harvey and Joe W. Bowers Jr. | California Black Media

To combat the surge in burglaries and retail thefts in California, lawmakers have introduced Assembly Bill (AB) 1990. The proposal making its way through the State Legislature would authorize police officers to make arrests without first obtaining a warrant.

“This bill would authorize a peace officer to make a warrantless arrest for a misdemeanor shoplifting offense not committed in the officer’s presence if the officer has probable cause to believe that person has committed shoplifting,” reads the bill language.

Authored by Assemblymembers Wendy Carillo (D-Boyle Heights), Mike Gipson (D-Carson) and Carlos Villapudua (D-Stockton), AB 1990 is drawing bipartisan support.

“I am proud to join my colleagues Assembly Members Gipson, Villapudua and Carrillo as a co-author to the AB 1990 STOP Act. This bill will support law enforcement’s efforts in protecting our communities against retail theft, said Assemblymember Juan Alanis, a Republican who represents a district that stretches from the Bay Area to parts of the San Joaquin Valley.

“Although there is a lot of work to be done, this is an important step to addressing this critical issue. I look forward to continuing the fight against retail theft in the Legislature.,” continued Alanis.

Opponents have begun to speak out against the bill currently under reviewed by the Assembly Public Safety Committee.

“Please say no to AB 1990 #Stop Act,” wrote Assemblymember Tina McKinnor (D-Inglewood) on Facebook. “Bad for Black and Brown folks. Please share so our community can know what is happening.”

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