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California May End Arrests For Loitering With Intent to Engage...

Police car lights in night time, crime scene, night patrolling the city. Abstract blurry image.

Photo: Getty Images

Under a new bill that was approved by state lawmakers, police in California would no longer be able to arrest anyone for loitering with the intent to engage in prostitution. There was a debate as to whether this would hurt or help sex trafficking victims.

According to KTLA Sen. Scott Wiener used a procedural move to withhold the bill from the governor's consideration until next year.

The delay until January gives supporters "more time to make the case about why this civil rights bill is good policy that should be signed into law and why this discriminatory loitering crime goes against California values and needs to be repealed," Wieners office said is a statement.

The bill will allow those who are currently serving sentences or who were previously convicted to ask a court to dismiss and seal the record of the conviction. The measures are part of an effort to end discrimination against and violence toward sex workers.

The bill has support from the American Civil Liberties Union as well as groups representing LGTBQ individuals and sex workers.

The ACLU said the measure "eliminates a law that allows police to rely on bias rather than evidence to criminalize otherwise legal activities like walking, dressing, or standing in public."

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