New California Laws Will Create ‘Ideological Purity Test’ for Police by Banning Ties to ‘Hate’ and ‘Bias,’ Critics Say

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from Daily Signal,

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, has signed two bills into law that will limit who is eligible to become a peace officer, even as many cities across the Golden State struggle with police shortages. Critics say the new laws will create an “ideological purity test,” preventing some conservatives and Christians from joining already-strapped police forces.

Newsom on Sept. 30 signed AB 655, which bars Californians who previously had been members of a “hate group” or involved in “hate group activity” (in the past seven years) from police service. It remains unclear when the law will go into effect.

The governor also signed AB 2229, which requires applicants to be screened for “bias” before they can join a police force. The “bias” requirement had been enacted previously in 2020, but mistakenly was stricken from the law in 2021, according to a legislative analysis. According to the law’s text, it went into effect immediately upon signing.

Although AB 655 uses a strict definition for the term “hate group” tied directly to “genocide,” critics note that the new law also requires agencies to investigate “a complaint made by the public that alleges, as specified, that a peace officer engaged in membership in a hate group, participation in any hate group activity, or advocacy of public expressions of hate.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center, or SPLC, has branded mainstream conservative and Christian organizations as “hate groups” and put them on a list with the likes of the Ku Klux Klan, often for reasons that amount to ideological disagreement.

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