Skip to main content

Assemblymember Kalra’s Bill to Protect Grieving Families in Police Interrogations Moves Forward

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San José), and bill co-sponsors, Californians for Safety and Justice and Silicon Valley De-Bug, celebrate the passage of AB 3021 from Assembly Public Safety Committee. AB 3021 will affirm and empower the family members of victims of police violence to exercise their rights in interactions with law enforcement when they are at their most vulnerable.


“Yesterday’s vote moves us closer to ending the harmful tactics law enforcement officers use to manipulate family members of victims of police violence,” said Assemblymember Kalra. “Families have a reasonable expectation to transparency and information about the circumstances surrounding their loved ones' welfare, without being kept in the dark. I am grateful to the impacted family members for sharing their experiences and taking on this vital advocacy role.”


Law enforcement agencies are taught techniques to extract information from families with the aim of protecting officers from legal repercussions and criminal allegations. Such tactics not only inflict harm upon the victim and their family but also erode trust in law enforcement. An investigative report, by journalist Brian Howey, further exposed this larger statewide practice in a piece published by the Los Angeles Times in March of 2023. AB 3021 will require peace officers, prosecuting attorneys, or investigators to clearly identify themselves and explain the rights of individuals being interviewed, questioned, or interrogated prior to engaging with a family member of someone who has been killed or severely injured by a peace officer.


Jim Showman, whose daughter Diana Showman was killed by San Jose PD in 2014, testified in the hearing. He described being interrogated while the information of her death was withheld, his phone was confiscated, and he was kept isolated from family.


“When I discussed what happened to me in that interrogation room with other families who had lost loved ones to police, it turned out that this withholding of information by police about the death of a family member was common,” said Jim Showman in the hearing. “Passing AB 3021 is vitally important so other family members and loved ones of victims of police violence won’t be preyed upon by this coercive interrogation practice.”


“All survivors of crime deserve to be treated with dignity and respect by the justice system and its representatives, and this is particularly true for victims of police violence and their families,” said Tinisch Hollins, Executive Director of Californians for Safety and Justice. “Being given false or misleading information by a law enforcement official can compound the trauma and pain a victim of crime may be experiencing, and does nothing to help them heal. Our collective safety requires a commitment to practices that facilitate healing, and which strengthen the relationship between the community and police. We are proud to stand with Asm. Kalra in support of the critical piece of legislation.”




Assemblymember Ash Kalra represents California’s 25th Assembly District, which encompasses the majority of San José, including downtown and open space areas in southeast Santa Clara County. He was first elected in 2016, becoming the first Indian American to serve in the California Legislature in state history, and was re-elected to his fourth term in 2022. Assemblymember Kalra is the Chair of the Committee on Judiciary and also serves as a member on the Housing and Community Development, Local Government, and Natural Resources committees.