California Tries to Get Police Officers Killed

How else would you describe this legislation?


California Lawmakers Propose Restricting Situations When Police Officers Can Open Fire

Several California lawmakers proposed yesterday that the state significantly restrict the situations in which police officers can open fire, backed by the family of a 22-year-old unarmed black man, Stephon Clark, who was shot and killed by an officer in Sacramento last month.

Under the legislation introduced by Democratic Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, the standard for police officers to fire their guns would be changed from using "reasonable force" to "necessary force," meaning they'd be allowed to fire only if there were no other reasonable alternatives to prevent imminent serious injury or death. Weber said, "We need to ensure that our state policy governing the use of deadly force stresses the sanctity of human life and is only used when necessary." The current standard  of "reasonable fear" means that it's rare for officers to be charged after a shooting and even less so for them to be convicted, because they are allowed to use deadly force if they have a reason to fear for their safety.

Democratic Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, who's co-authoring the bill, said the goal is to encourage officers to try to defuse confrontations or use less deadly weapons. But some in law enforcement objected to the new proposal, with the Peace Officers Research Association of California, the largest law enforcement organization in the state, calling it a "dangerous rush to judgment." The organization said it is concerned that the proposed legislation would, quote, "handcuff peace officers and their abilities to keep communities safe."

(Pulse Networks)

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