Stand Up Against
the Protect Act
A new law under consideration would have a devastating impact on the safety of our community.
About the Protect Act
Prevents Investigations of DUIs and Other Crimes
According to the text of the Protect Act, "officers are prohibited from questioning the person stopped about any offense other than an offense for which the person was stopped" while conducting a stop. This means an officer can't ask the driver of a swerving car if they've had anything to drink that night.
Reduces Ability of Police to Question Suspicious Persons
Based on the Protect Act, officers are prohibited asking anyone "for identification or for any information about: any person’s identity; probation, parole, post-release community supervision status, or any other court order or status that waives or limits a person’s Fourth Amendment rights; outstanding warrants; or participation in any criminal or other activity." Imagine a person outside your home at two in the morning pacing, suspiciously, but no crime has been committed yet. You call the police, but they say they can’t respond due to limited ability to interact with the person.
Restricts Officers from Stopping Dangerous Vehicles
According to the text of the ordinance, officers would no longer be able to pull over drivers for any of the following violations: "expired registration; failure to have a light illuminating a license plate; defective and unsafe equipment; absence of functional taillights, headlights, turn signals, brake lights or a high mount stop light; absence of an exhaust system that prevents excessive or unusual levels of noise; having sunshading materials and/or tinting films; or having objects suspended in the vehicle."
Prohibits Enforcement of Outstanding Warrants
Text within the Protect Act would prohibit officers from checking if a driver or passenger had any outstanding warrants for crimes already committed: "while conducting a stop, officers are prohibited from conducting a check to determine whether there are outstanding warrants for the stopped person or any individual accompanying the stopped person."
Restrains Enforcement of Probation & Parole
The Protect Act would prohibit officers performing legal enforcement of requirements agreed to when an offender agrees to serve on probation or parole: "officers shall not conduct any stop or search based on any condition of probation, parole, sentence, post-release community supervision, or any other court order."
Turns Police Officers into Criminals
If a San Diego Police Officer violates any of the provisions in the act, they aren't simply facing disciplinary action, but could be charged criminally charged. That's right: if an officer tries to check if a driver has any outstanding warrants for violent crimes, that officer could be criminally prosecuted.
"The PrOTECT Ordinance proposes to change policing in the City by, among other things, eliminating Terry stops, consent contacts, and detentions and weapon sweeps based on reasonable suspicion, all of which are permissible under the Fourth Amendment of the United Stated Constitution and California law. It appears to limit enforcement of DUis and domestic violence protective orders and prohibits officers from making Vehicle Code-related stops for non-moving violations and from asking about Fourth Amendment waivers or parole status. It also appears inconsistent with state and federal qualified immunity laws and imposes criminal liability on officers for certain conduct. "
- Office of the City Attorney
...and it gets even worse!
If the Protect Act becomes law, advocates won't stop there. They've also expressed a desire to prevent police officers from enforcing the following crimes:
Illegal lodging and encroachment;
Evading Trolley Fare;
Disturbing the Peace;
Petty Theft; and
Stopping enforcement of these crimes would have a devastating impact on San Diego's quality of life! That's why it's critical that we stop the Protect Act!