BREAKING: CA Bill to Reduce Police Killings, Hold Officers Accountable Advances in Legislature
Courage Campaign Says Sweeping Reforms Are Long Overdue
SACRAMENTO – Today, the California Assembly voted to pass Assembly Bill 392: The California Act to Save Lives, critical legislation that will change the use of force standard in California to a “necessary” standard to reduce the number of police shootings. If passed and signed into law, AB 392 will provide California with one of the most protective use of force laws in the country.
The bill, introduced by Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D-San Diego), will update California’s outdated use of force standard to require that police officers avoid using deadly force when there are other options. The bill will also help ensure officers are held accountable when they fail to comply with this new standard.
With the full support of Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins, and Governor Gavin Newsom, AB 392 now heads to the California Senate for approval there.
In response to the advancement of AB 392, Eddie Kurtz, Executive Director of Courage Campaign, issued the following:
“Courage Campaign applauds the Legislature for advancing AB 392, which will make sweeping reforms to the way police officers use deadly force against Californians.
“The senseless killings in our state are nothing short of an epidemic — one that is taking Black and brown lives at alarming rates. Just last year, 115 people were fatally shot in California. Less than half of those victims had a gun.
“Police should never kill when they have alternatives. Period. It’s time for California police departments to recognize once and for all that black and brown lives matter, and for our legislators to reform the law accordingly. We implore the state Senate to swiftly pass AB 392.”
Last month, Courage Campaign commissioned a series of TV ads that aired in Los Angeles and Sacramento calling on the Legislature to pass AB 392.
SEE THE SACRAMENTO TV AD HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLFWm7QsA0g&feature=youtu.be
SEE THE LOS ANGELES TV AD HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxE38kpdZBw&feature=youtu.be
Changing the use of force standard in California will change the way officers pursue other, non-deadly, resources or techniques when engaging with the public. In cities with stricter use of force policies, police kill fewer people without any negative impact on law enforcement or community safety. Seattle, for example, saw a reduction in the number of use of force incidents after adopting a use of force standard like the one in AB 392, without seeing any negative impact on public or police safety. San Francisco also saw similar declines in use of force incidents. The San Francisco Police Department hasn’t shot anyone in almost a year after adopting its change in policy.
If passed, California would become the only state to combine a “necessary standard” with the requirement that courts consider an officer’s conduct leading up to a use of deadly force when determining the legality of the officer’s actions.