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New upcoming rules re CA police stops: reasonable or burdensome?

Clearly, there is a problem linked with a fair number of police-citizen interactions during police-initiated traffic and pedestrian stops in California communities, and rules have been authored that seek to address that and to reduce encounters resulting in negative outcomes.

Those rules were recently issued by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and are now the subject of widespread scrutiny and comment. In a report from National Public Radio published earlier this month, an ex-California judge offered her take on the revisions.

The bottom line with LaDoris Cordell is this: She thinks the rules are necessary and overdue and that, additionally, they can go far toward improving police/community relations and making encounters safer for both police officers and those they seek to stop and question.

As NPR dutifully notes, the rules as written are far from being universally endorsed. Some commentators -- especially persons from within the police community -- say that forcing cops to take extra time to document their reasons for effecting a stop or search is an onerous and unfair exaction. Others say it is flatly necessary to curb abuses, and that the requirements do not go far enough.

Cordell thinks that the balance that was struck is just about right. She estimates from experience with a past pilot program that it should take an officer, on average, about 90 seconds to manually input some rudimentary data regarding a stop.

The information that will be entered effective from next year by larger police departments across the state will be examined with an eye on making any policy adjustments necessary to reduce profiling incidents and unlawful stops.

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