AB 481 is a new law that requires California law enforcement agencies to publish information about a range of militarized gear used in policing and carceral facilities, and to obtain approval from city/town councils and boards of supervisors of their policies regulating the use of this military equipment. 

Over the past several months, Sonoma County city/town councils and our county supervisors have been deciding in public meetings whether to adopt police and Sheriff’s proposed policies for the use of tank-like armored vehicles, assault rifles, teargas, ‘less lethal’ launchers and munitions, drones, sound cannons and other gear often used in SWAT operations and crowd control. The performance of our city/town councils and boards of supervisors has been very inconsistent regarding the protection of community members from misuse of this weaponry.

The Sonoma County Chapter of the ACLU of Northern California announces a joint project with the NAACP Santa Rosa – Sonoma County Branch to produce a report detailing the implementation of AB 481 in Sonoma County. We plan to highlight which governing bodies and elected officials did their jobs with integrity and those who chose to disregard community concerns about safety.

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