ABC Sacramento, March 4, 2019
Los Angeles Times
Amid pain and division, California moves closer to tougher rules on deadly police force
April 9, 2019
When AB 392 passed out of committee, cheers erupted in a hallway packed by people in T-shirts reading #LetUsLive. Among them was Stevante Clark, brother of Stephon Clark, who was shot last year in Sacramento after police mistook his cellphone for a gun. AB 392 was crafted in part because of that shooting.
“It’s the first step out of the way,” Stevante Clark said later, standing on the back steps of the Capitol with the families of others who had lost loved ones to police shootings. “This is a club nobody wants to be a part of, but to see everybody come together and fight for something meaningful and lasting that will change the law, it’s powerful.”
Op-ed: Police kill Latinos disproportionately. Latino legislators must stand up for reform
March 29, 2019
I call on the California Legislature – and in particular the members of the Latino Legislative Caucus – to fulfill their responsibility to act in the best interest of their constituents and pass AB 392. I also call on every Californian of good conscience to use their voice and power to make sure our state laws reflect the value we place on human life, humanity and basic human rights.
Together, we can do it. ¡Sí, se puede!
AB 392 IN THE NEWS
San Diego Union Tribune
Editorial: Police use of lethal force: It’s time for California to raise its standard
March 15, 2019
The San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial Board has long advocated for criminal justice reform and has been heartened by the momentum the reform movement has built in recent years. But while our board has decried what appeared to be the unnecessary killing by police of unarmed civilians — often young African-American men — members have balked at endorsing a change in the California law that allows police officers to use lethal force if an officer believes it is objectively reasonable to do so under the circumstances.
Editorial: Police won’t obey transparency law. Why trust them on deadly force reform?
March 14, 2019
Gov. Gavin Newsom is slated to meet with law enforcement groups this week. In recognition of National Sunshine Week – when we honor the importance of open and transparent government – perhaps the governor can ask them why they’re working so hard to undermine Senate Bill 1421.
SB 1421 requires law enforcement agencies to release the disciplinary records of officers involved in shootings and other serious misconduct. The bill’s author, state Senator Nancy Skinner, wrote the bill to be retroactive, applying to past as well as future records.
These same groups now oppose Assembly Bill 392, which would establish new rules for when police officers can use deadly force. The current law gives police the overly broad authority to kill. AB 392 would limit the circumstances in which police could use deadly force.
San Diego Union Tribune
Commentary: Why California needs to change outdated law to save lives
Shirley N. Weber
March 15, 2019
I believe I speak for the public and police alike when I say the preservation of human life should be the primary objective of policing. But the current use of force standard allows police to use deadly force and kill someone even when officers have other options. As lawmakers, we are obligated to change that. Assembly Bill 392 will save lives and prevent tragedies by updating our state’s outdated use of force standard.
Editorial: To save lives, deadly force policy needs serious reform - not window dressing
February 23, 2019
Imagine a world without laws. In place of laws, imagine being asked to voluntarily follow a set of general guidelines. Things like speeding, robbery and assault would be discouraged. Yet, without any laws in place, no one could hold you accountable for violations. Compliance would be left up to each individual.
Any law enforcement officer can tell you why such a system would never work. Yet this is exactly the system some cops desire when it comes to policing their own use of deadly force against citizens.
Editorial: Stephon Clark’s life mattered. His death must change rules for police deadly force
March 2, 2019
Change the law.
If there’s one thing we can do to channel the pain and anguish of Stephon Clark’s unnecessary death into meaningful action, it’s this: Use every ounce of energy and outrage to push for the passage of Assembly Bill 392.
The bill, by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) and Assemblyman Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), would limit the circumstances under which law enforcement officers can use deadly force. With such a law in place, Stephon might still be alive today.
Los Angeles Times
Waiting for a decision in Stephon Clark’s killing, they are ready to be disappointed — and to mobilize
March 1, 2019
To many here, the question isn’t whether the officers will be charged, but what will happen when they aren’t.
The shared belief among community activists, politicians and police is that the shooting probably will be deemed justifiable. There also is a growing determination that if no criminal action is taken, calls for statewide legislation curbing police use of deadly force should become the focus of protests.
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ABC Sacramento, Mike Duffy, Community leaders decry police policies, add voices of support to AB 392 3/7/2019
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SacBee Editorial board, On Monday night police launched attack on our 1st Amendment. Here's how you can respond 3/5/2019
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Politico, Jeremy White, California AG finds officers justified in killing Stephon Clark, deflects questions on legislative proposals 3/5/2019
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Video Courtesy of Sacramento Bee, April 3, 2018
Bad cops have it too easy in California. Here's how the Legislature can change that
Sacramento Bee Editorial Board
June 19, 2018
California’s powerful police unions are used to having their way at the Capitol. For decades, they’ve been able to coerce lawmakers into burying almost every bill that would have forced their members to accept even a modicum of additional transparency or public accountability.
But times may be changing.
Los Angeles Times
The 'reasonable' use of force by police has killed too many people. California can change that
May 22, 2018
Excessive force by police officers is a national problem, but the solution will need to come from state and local governments. The federal courts and federal government are showing themselves unwilling to deal with the problem, but meaningful action at the state and local levels is possible and, indeed, essential.
Police could only use deadly force when 'necessary' under new California proposal
April 3, 2018
California lawmakers introduced a bill Tuesday that would tighten the state standard for use of lethal force to "necessary" – when there are no alternatives for the officer to consider in that situation. Police would not be justified in killing the suspect if their own actions caused the deadly force to become necessary.
Editorial: California has responsibility to pass AB 931, restrict police lethality
April 15, 2018
California has long been at the center of the national debate over law enforcement’s reliance on lethal force. And for decades, the trend of people dying – oftentimes meaninglessly – at the hands of law enforcement has persisted. The state legislature doesn’t just have a moral obligation to pass AB 931, but also a responsibility to.
California Activists Organize Response To Police Shootings
May 2, 2018
Following the police shooting of an unarmed black man in California’s capital city, activists seeking police accountability have formed a statewide network to help communities respond to police shootings and to weaken protections for the officers involved.