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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

Delayed responses

“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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  1. This law is a fantastic idea. Police should have no ore rights than common citizens. When they make bad or malicious decisions, they should pay the price with the loss of their freedoms, their jobs, their savings and homes.

    There are too many times when police use deadly force as a first resort–and this law should curtail them. Along with this new law–police should also have their ‘implied immunity’ stripped from them. They should not be able to hide behind a taxpayer government shield when they violate our rights or kill people unnecessarily or with malicious intent.

    If a police officer would actually uphold their oaths of office, this law would not be necessary. Instead police officers are routinely trained to circumvent constitutional rights, or they obey unconstitutional orders as a matter of routine… why? Because police officers are recruited from the lowest denominator on the IQ scale (seeking dolts who only obey). Men and women who enter the LEO field are seeking a guaranteed paycheck and pension–and this is more important that upholding the rights, lives and liberty of mere citizens.

    You should all wake up to this fact.

  2. They have the right idea, but are going about it the wrong way. They already have everything they need. This topic keeps coming up, and I keep repeating myself, but it seems that no prosecutors are seeing my comments. Otherwise, the proper actions against killer cops would have been taken already. When I say ‘killer cops’, I’m referring to the trigger happy and the guilty. Once again, here is the solution for prosecuting them with a jury who can easily understand these criteria. Every law enforcement agency teaches and trains their officers/deputies that three things are required for the authorized use of deadly force. They are 1.Means 2.Opportunity 3.Intent.

    1. Does the perp have the ‘means’ to cause grievous bodily harm or death? This requirement does not ask, does the officer ‘suspect, think, or guess’ the perp has the means. He must KNOW the perp has the means, which is what these newly proposed criteria are demanding, but the criteria already exists. Present it to a jury.

    2. Does the perp have the ‘opportunity’ to cause grievous bodily harm or death? If the perp is in proximity to use a weapon or other method, or to activate a weapon or other method from another location, then they have the opportunity. Present it to a jury.

    3. Has the perp demonstrated clear ‘intent’ to commit grievous bodily harm or death? This one does not ask if the cop THOUGHT the perp intended bad juju. Is the perp pointing a weapon, or approaching with a knife and refusing orders to stop or drop the weapon? This one works closely with number one. LEOs are taught to not act on assumptions. Assuming a perp’s intentions AND assuming they have a weapon, although a weapon was never presented OR pointed, are two major hits against what the officer is trained to do. Present it to a jury.

    I know for a fact, that when these criteria are properly applied, they work 99.99% of the time. Myself, and tens of thousands of other troops have applied this same criteria in war zones, very successfully. Many of those troops were much younger than the average police officer.

    Remember, ALL THREE criteria are required for the authorized use of deadly force.

    The problem with the trials and investigations of these offers are, these very important criteria are ignored, and the focus is on the emotions of the cop, which plays on the emotions of the jury and the public. So they are cleared and the process repeats it’s self for each case thereafter. Focus on the requisite training and policy, NOT this BS about whether a cop can articulate that he was in fear for his life. He must demonstrate, using the three criteria, that his, or someone’s life was endangered. Present it to a jury.

  3. I view the issue as being teo fold. Police are rewarded for making arrests, therefore the mindset is to escalate. Routine traffic stops are geared toward making an arerst by a questioning method of entrapment.
    The other issue is the judge jury executioner mentally. A jay walker can be shot in the back for running away from a LEO.
    Police assume everyone is guilty of a capital offense. Laws will change nothing, it’s the culture that needs fixing.

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