“Mapping police Violence” – article here.
What most people now know:
Stephon Clark was shot by the police 7 times in the back. He was unarmed.
What most people may not know:
This was not an anomaly. California’s police departments are some of the deadliest in the country. Police in Kern County, for example, have killed more people per capita than in any other county in the US. Broken down by city, we has five of the 15 deadliest police departments – Bakersfield, Stockton, Long Beach, Santa Ana and San Bernardino. Our officers fatally shot 162 people last year, only half of whom were armed with guns and studies show that blacks are far more likely than whites to die in police shootings. But many of these deaths could have been prevented if police were held to a higher standard that valued the preservation of life.
Our legislators are advocating for two bills that resulted directly from Stephon Clark’s death:
AB 931, “Police Use of Deadly Force” which limits the use of lethal force by law enforcement
- Revises California’s deadly force use standard from “reasonable force” to “necessary force” when confronting a suspect.
- A peace officer shall not be deemed an aggressor or lose his or her right to self-defense by the use of reasonable force to effect the arrest, to prevent escape, or to overcome resistance.
- Restrains the use deadly force unless necessary to prevent imminent and serious bodily injury or death to the officer or to a third party.
- Restrains the use of deadly force against individuals that pose a danger to themselves.
SB 1421 – “Peace officers: release of records” – which would allow greater public access to the records of police officers who use deadly force or engage in misconduct.
- 1. Serious use-of-force investigations, including investigations into police shootings.
- 2. Sustained complaints against officers for sexual assault or other serious job-related dishonesty, such as perjury, falsifying police reports, and planting or destroying evidence.
Are we the only ones who are doing this?: No
- In 2017, a group of 11 national police organizations issued a new model policy for police departments nationwide that for the first time incorporates the concept of “de-escalation” when an officer is facing the choice of using deadly force. The new policy also recommended that police departments declare that “It is the policy of this law enforcement agency to value and preserve human life.”
- Last spring, the IACP and the national Fraternal Order of Police officers’ union joined together to create “30 Guiding Principles” for use by police forces which called for police emphasis on the “sanctity of life” for everyone in a critical incident, not just the officers.
- In Salt Lake City, after a series of controversial police shootings, the police department increased de-escalation training and even began recognizing individual officers with de-escalation awards for defusing potentially violent situations. Since that policy was instituted in 2015, no Salt Lake City officer has killed anyone.
Minimal Script for assemblymembers: I am calling from [zip code] to urge assemblymember [___] to support AB 931 – the “Police Use of Deadly Force” bill.
Minimal Script for state senators: I am calling from [zip code] to urge Senator [___] to support SB 1421 – the “Peace officers: release of records” bill.
State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (SD-19):SAC (916) 651-4019, SB (805) 965-0862, OX (805)988-1940 email
State Assemblymember Monique Limón:(CA-37): SAC (916) 319-2037, SB (805) 564-1649, VTA (805) 641-3700 email
Not your people?:findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov.