Under a new proposal by Grass Valley's state senator, police pursuits in California would be reserved only for suspects in violent felonies.
State Sen. Sam Aanestad, R-Grass Valley, announced the new version of his "Kristie's Law" bill this week after meeting with law enforcement officials from across the state.
Senate Bill 718, which Aanestad co-authored with Sen. Gloria Romero, D-Los Angeles, is designed to reduce the chance of bystanders being injured or killed during pursuits.
"Kristie's Law sets a firm policy that will save the innocent lives of our children and grandchildren. Far too many innocent lives have been lost to pursuits already," Aanestad said in a statement.
In the newest version of Kristie's Law, Aanestad proposes limiting chases to cases where suspects committed violent felonies, which include murder, attempted murder, rape, mayhem, and assault with a deadly weapon.
The bill is named for Kristie Priano, a 15-year-old Chico teen killed in January 2000 when her family van was hit by another driver fleeing police.
Earlier versions of the bill were opposed by law enforcement officials across the state because they feared officers would be held liable for accidents caused by pursuits.
In its current form, Kristie's Law retains a police officer's immunity from lawsuits brought forth by bystanders killed or injured in such pursuits.
The issue was broached at a recent summit between Aanestad and law enforcement leaders at a meeting last month. Grass Valley Police Chief John Foster, who attended the meeting, opposed making officers liable for damages from chases.