Calif Proposal: Limits When Police Can Shoot Suspects
A Calif proposal seeks to change the standard for police officers from “reasonable force” to “necessary force.” What does that mean? It means police officers will no longer be able to shoot someone based on what appears to be a weapon. It removes the presumption that police officers in “reasonable fear” for their lives can shoot a suspect. They must find a way to “defuse” situations or use non-lethal means of stopping a suspect.They have defined “necessary force” as when “there were no other reasonable alternatives to the use of deadly force.” That change could send more officers a) to the grave or b) to prison. What they are really trying to do is make it easier to prosecute police for shooting someone they believe is a danger, since it is extremely difficult to prosecute police officers under the current standard.
“We should no longer be the target practice or victims of a shoot first, ask questions later police force.” Assemblyman Chris Holden, chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus
“The tougher proposed standard could require officers to delay confronting a suspect they fear may be armed until backup arrives or force police to give explicit verbal warnings that suspects will be killed unless they drop the weapon.” Lizzie Buchen, ACLU
Newsflash: Police officers are already trained to give “explicit verbal warnings.” There appear to be a lot of people who fail to heed them. The Stephon Clark shooting in Sacramento is part of the background on why this proposal was made. You can read about that incident here.
Delaying responses to a suspect who appears to be armed could end up with more police officers and bystanders being killed. It may also cause less officers to be recruited for positions within California departments. Some law enforcement departments are opposed to the changes.
“Officers already use deadly force only when necessary and are taught to try to defuse dangerous situations first when possible… Tinkering with legal protections for police could make it more difficult to hire officers and be dangerous because they may hesitate when confronting an armed suspect, threatening themselves and bystanders.” Ed Obayashi, Plmas County Deputy and Special Prosecutor
Read more at Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children
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