News 11's Wiley Jawhary reports
IMPERIAL, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - In the midst of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and a call by many nationwide for police reform, a bill is heading to the California assembly that would establish an independent commission with the power to investigate police misconduct.
After all of this ongoing tension, the spotlight now turns to a senate bill that looks to give states power in investigating police misconduct.
One local Councilman fully supports Senate Bill 2 (SB-2). Since, there has been a contentious battle brewing between him and Calexico’s Mayor Rosie Fernández.
City Councilman Raul Ureña has made claims that neighboring cities El Centro and Imperial have high incidents of police brutality. City officials there have fully denied such accusations.
Mayor Fernández even calls his claims 'unethical.' Ureña says he’s 'disappointed,' but still feels that police brutality is under reported and remains a serious problem.
Ureña also places pressure on his city to support this notion; Mayor Fernandez says this is beyond their authority.
"Pertaining to SB-2, the city of Calexico is a non-partisan governing board in which we do not endorse any partisan positions. We trust our California state legislatures to do their due diligence."- Calexico Mayor Rosie Fernandez
The two have been exchanging public statements over the last few weeks. Mayor Fernández released a statement Wednesday evening calling for "professionalism and transparency."
The bill looks to empower states to investigate instances of police brutality, also granting the commission power to investigate and determine just how fit a police officer is for the job.
In regard to the BLM's movement, one local representative says this gives them hope that a system of accountability will be put in place to hold officers accountable.
"SB-2 of California will definitely save lives. I encourage everybody to endorse and encourage SB-2,” Hilton Smith, a local BLM representative said.
As the bill looks to make its way to the assembly, News 11 will be following its progress.