A new amendment to the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights bans public agencies from disciplining, firing, demoting, or denying a promotion to a peace officer merely because a Brady list includes the peace officer’s name. Brady lists are maintained as a result of Brady v. Maryland, under which a criminal prosecutor must disclose the name of any testifying peace officer whose conduct (or omission) could impact credibility findings.
The amendment, which is effective January 1, 2014, also covers peace officers whose names do not appear on such a list but may be subject to disclosure pursuant to Brady. The amendment does not prohibit agencies from disciplining peace officers for the underlying conduct or omission that led to inclusion of the peace officer’s name on the Brady list. If such conduct is proven, the evidence that a peace officer’s name was placed on a Brady list can only be used for the sole purpose of determining the type or level of punitive action to be imposed.
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