Some California lawmakers are looking to change the standard for when police officers can use deadly force.
Assembly Bill 931 — also known as the Police Accountability and Community Protection Act — passed its first policy committee Tuesday.
The outlet says, if the bill becomes law, the new legislation would change the state’s use of lethal force standard from “reasonable” to “necessary.”
Assemblymember Shirley Weber first introduced the bill in April, saying it’s time to update the state’s “reasonable force standard.”
But law enforcement organizations aren’t on the same page about the legislation. They argue it could put officers and the public in danger.
Their staunch opposition significantly diminishes the prospects for Assembly Bill 931, which would increase the state standard for lethal use of force from “reasonable” to “necessary,” to become law.
At the Senate Public Safety Committee hearing, representatives for rank-and-file police and their management said their objections to the proposed change on use of force could not be resolved by an offer to provide funding to retrain officers.
“We agree that more training can result in better outcomes, but there is a fundamental disagreement about raising the standard above what the Supreme Court has said,” Jonathan Feldman, a lobbyist for the California Police Chiefs Association, told The Bee.
A pair of U.S. Supreme Court cases three decades ago created a legal precedent that police can kill suspects if a “reasonable” officer in similar circumstances would have acted the same way. AB 931, which was introduced this spring following the shooting death of Stephon Clark in south Sacramento, would limit that justification to situations where officers have no available alternatives to protect themselves or others, reports the Sacramento Bee.
Law enforcement officials have sharply denounced the proposal, which they contend would put officers’ lives in danger by opening up their split-second decisions to further scrutiny in a courtroom. But at Tuesday’s hearing, the Peace Officers Research Association of California also brought up concerns about retraining more than 100,000 California police under the new standards.
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June 20th, 2018