Rally at Capitol Calls for Law Enforcement Transparency, Accountability

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SACRAMENTO --

It's a call to action, to keep the state's law enforcement in check.

Hundreds of people rallied at the Capitol, in hopes of getting two bills passed -- SB 1286, which would restore police transparency, and SB 443, which would fix what they call a federal "loophole" that allows law enforcement to confiscate cash and property before someone is convicted of a civil crime.

Bobby Alexander shared a bitter memory he had with local law enforcement three years ago.

"Since when is it a crime to have money on you?" Alexander asked.

The war veteran said he pumping gas when suddenly a CHP officer came behind him, saying he was being ticketed for speeding.

As the officer searched his car, Alexander told him he had $10,000 in cash with him to buy his daughter a used car.

"As soon as I showed him the money, his face just lit up," Alexander said.

Alexander believed he was profiled.

"He said, 'We're going to take you to jail.' I said, 'For what?' They said, 'For buying, selling and transporting drugs.' Then I looked at him and asked him, 'Where are the drugs?'" Alexander said.

"They seized it based on the assumption he was involved in criminal activity. Well, you're innocent until proven guilty," Senator Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) said. She is the author of SB 443.

Alexander said he was asked to sign a paper saying the money does not belong to him. He refused. So he spent an evening in jail.

"They weren't breaking me. It just wasn't going to happen," Alexander said.

Eight months of fighting and finally he was able to get his money back.

All charges were dismissed and he never even got that speeding ticket.

Alexander shared his story at the Capitol on Monday at the ACLU rally, because he said what happened to him was not right. He hopes state lawmakers see that with SB 443, this never would have happened to him.

"We are not suggesting all law enforcement is bad. What we want is fairness in treatment. Law enforcement's desire to increase their budgets should not trump my rights as a state of California," Mitchell said.

FOX40 contacted the California Peace Officers Association.They said they are opposed to both bills.