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Jerry Brown To Challenge Ruling Overturning Ban On Body Armor For Felons

With Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck, San Francisco police Chief George Gascon and Los Angeles police union president Paul M. Weber urging him on, state Attorney General Jerry Brown says he'll petition the state Supreme Court to throw out a lower court ruling that overturned California's ban on body armor for ex-felons convicted in violent crimes.

"Every day, California's law enforcement officers put their lives on the line to protect our communities," Brown stated Tuesday. "Allowing violent felons to possess military grade body armor puts their lives further at risk and jeopardizes public safety. My office will petition the California Supreme Court to review the appeals court decision next month."

As we told you, the case involves a challenge of the Los Angeles Police Department's 2007 arrest of ex-con Ethan Saleem, a murderer who had been stopped by Los Angeles police officers as he was free on parole.

The Los Angeles Police Protective League, the officers' union, described his fashion during the stop as a "military style armored vest that had a label reading 'body armor, fragmentation protection.'" Saleem served 10 years for being a former violent felon in possession of body armor. But the 2nd District appellate court said the law's language was too vague for everyday people to understand its definition of body armor.

The law was passed a year after the 1997 shootout between cops and robbers in North Hollywood in which as many as eleven officers and six civilians were wounded. The bad guys were wearing body armor and seemed impervious to officers' 9 mm bullets that day.


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