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Mon Aug 19, 2019, 09:25 PM

California Governor Signs Law to Change When Police Can Use Lethal Force

Source: Time


BY DON THOMPSON / AP 8:22 PM EDT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California is changing the standards for when police can use lethal force under a law signed Monday that seeks to reduce officer-involved shootings.

“We are doing something today that stretches the boundary of possibility and sends a message to people all across this country that they can do more and they can do better to meet this moment,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom as he stood alongside family members of people killed by police.

California’s old standard has made it rare for police officers to be charged following a shooting and rarer still for them to be convicted. Frequently it’s because of the doctrine of reasonable fear: If prosecutors or jurors believe that officers have a reason to fear for their safety, they can use force up to and including lethal force.

The law by Democratic Assemblywoman Shirley Weber of San Diego will allow police to use lethal force only when necessary to defend against an imminent threat of death or serious injury to officers or bystanders. But lawmakers dropped an explicit definition of “necessary” that previously had said officers could use deadly force only when there is “no reasonable alternative.”


Read more: https://time.com/5656189/california-law-limit-shootings-police/

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 09:41 PM

1. This is a big relief to me because my daughter & son live in Cali.

And I feel sad, for feeling that relief.

I never should have had to be worried, to begin with.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 10:14 PM

2. There was too much leeway.

The first action by a police officer should be to deescalate the situation. And if there is no danger to bystanders... back the fuck off and wait for reinforcements that would reduce the need to use deadly force.

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Response to LiberalFighter (Reply #2)

Tue Aug 20, 2019, 05:57 PM

6. I'd like to see inside their training sometime, because based on behavior in the field I believe...

they are taught they must "take control of the situation" which usually leads to an escalation.

Another one I'd like to see is inside a business school. Are they taught to treat people like machines, do they come in to the programs heartless, or is that just the corporate culture?

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 10:18 PM

3. This is a small step, and might not be as effective at reducing lethal force use as some hope.

What it will effect is what police say about the incident after a lethal force usage.

Police departments and unions have, for many years, been teaching their officers the "magic words" (figuratively, not literally) to say when they use lethal force. That is why police reports about police shootings sound to eerily similar to one another -- because they all attempt to use "get out of jail free" passwords. Sometimes the dash/body cams and the police reports do not match scrupulously. Is that only b/c the officers are mere humans with all the memory and perceptual limitations that entails, or are they also spinning what happened so they can say the "right" thing to justify the outcome?

CA cops will be taught new magic words. Expect a rise in police reports of lethal force incidents claiming "imminent threat of death or serious injury" compared to before the law was changed. Why? Because that's what they need to say now to justify their actions. Let's be honest, most people think their actions are justified most of the time, and humans are constantly ret-conning their own life's narrative, especially in traumatic situations. It doesn't even have to be overtly corrupt/malicious, or even conscious, sometimes it is just a sort of cognitive dissonance relief valve.

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Response to RockRaven (Reply #3)

Mon Aug 19, 2019, 11:18 PM

4. Yes. I don't think this step will change anything in practice.

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Response to emmaverybo (Reply #4)

Tue Aug 20, 2019, 12:55 AM

5. It has to. Just requiring the waiting for backup creates de-escalation. If it only saves one life,

the law will change the lives of all those connected to the otherwise dead person.

It's a warning to those who think they can hide behind the thin blue line.

It changes training, and mindset of peers who watch bad apples get away with too much violence.

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Response to RockRaven (Reply #3)

Wed Aug 21, 2019, 07:20 PM

7. Could not agree with you more.



Our local town newspaper prints all arrests, Every drug arrest is the same "Officers stopped car for
broken taillight/missing tag/ and upon approaching the car smelled the distinct odor of marijuana, AND/OR officer saw baggie of drugs lying on the front seat.
Driver gave permission for a search."

80% of the arrest reports, word for word.. The only thing that changes is the drugs they have finding.
Synthetic marijuana and meth are now the highest per cent of drugs found. Occasionally illegal pills.

Police Depts. need to budget for good body cams, since their are SO many reports that seem to fail when most needed.

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