Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Factions Take Shape as California Advances Nationally Watched Police Shooting Bill
gvw_calmatters
By CalMatters
Published 5 years ago on
April 11, 2019

Share

Even as a landmark California bill meant to prevent police shootings passed its first committee Tuesday, the fault lines among Democrats began to emerge, suggesting the measure will likely change as it moves through the Legislature. How much, though, was not yet clear.

Portrait of Laura Rosenhall
Laurel Rosenhall
CALmatters
“I do have serious concerns that the text of this (bill) swings the pendulum too far in the other direction, because the sanctity of the life of our law enforcement is equally as important.” — Assemblywoman Rebecca Bauer-Kahan
After emotional, standing-room-only testimony from Californians whose loved ones have been killed by police, and a sheriff’s deputy who survived being shot by a gunman who killed her colleague, the Assembly Public Safety Committee passed Assembly Bill 392 on a party-line vote. But three of the panel’s six Democrats said they were dissatisfied with the bill in its current form. They asked civil rights groups that support the bill and law enforcement groups that oppose it to keep working toward common ground.
“It is incumbent upon each of us to look at the safety of the public, both law enforcement and the community members that are out on the streets every day,” said Assemblywoman Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, a Democrat from Orinda.
“The pendulum has swung too far in one direction such that we aren’t protecting and holding accountable those who are taking life from our community members. I do have serious concerns that the text of this (bill) swings the pendulum too far in the other direction, because the sanctity of the life of our law enforcement is equally as important.”

Clark’s Case Has Re-Ignited Anger Among Many

Assemblywoman Shirley Weber said she would work to reach a compromise before the bill reaches the Assembly floor.
“We are committed to having a piece of legislation that makes a difference and that does provide a balance,” said the San Diego Democrat whose bill would change the legal standard for justifying police use of deadly force.
Her bill — which is backed by the American Civil Liberties Union and numerous civil rights groups — was prompted by the death last year of Stephon Clark. He was not armed, but Sacramento police killed him after mistaking the cellphone he was holding for a gun. Last month, the Sacramento district attorney announced she would not press charges because the officers acted legally.
Clark’s case has re-ignited anger among many that black and brown men are unfairly targeted by police, a message that was carried into the Capitol by scores of Californians who packed the hearing room and spilled out into the hallway, wearing T-shirts commemorating slain loved ones, or emblazoned with the hashtag #LetUsLive.
Weber’s bill would make sweeping changes to the laws that determine when California police can use deadly force. It says police could shoot only when it’s necessary to prevent death or serious injury, and would require they use other tactics in many situations.

Subjecting Officers to Danger While Performing an Already Dangerous Job

That would go beyond the standard set by the U.S. Supreme Court, which says police can use force when a reasonable officer in the same circumstance would do the same thing. Law enforcement groups said that a law that deviates from the reasonable standard would subject officers to greater danger while performing an already dangerous job.

“My only intention is to protect and save lives. How is it that I would be questioned and judged by the ones who live so distant from the dangers we inherently face each day?” — Julie Robertson, a Sacramento deputy sheriff who watched her colleague get killed by a gunman
“I was fighting for my life and fighting to protect complete strangers when I chose to stand between the gunman and the employees and patrons. The thought of having to second guess my actions in that moment is frightening,” said Julie Robertson, a Sacramento deputy sheriff who watched her colleague get killed by a gunman when they responded to a disturbance at an auto parts store last year.
“My only intention is to protect and save lives. How is it that I would be questioned and judged by the ones who live so distant from the dangers we inherently face each day?”
Though law enforcement groups are largely opposed to Weber’s bill, several said they would keep working with her to find common ground. Police groups have backed competing legislation, Senate Bill 230, that focuses on updating department policies on the use of force and increasing training for officers. It will likely get its first hearing later this month.
Follow this issue as it moves through the Legislature this year with CALmatters’ podcast, Force of Law.
CALmatters.org is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture explaining California policies and politics.

DON'T MISS

Comic Con 2024: What to Expect as the Convention Returns to San Diego

DON'T MISS

Tim Skipper’s Interim Tag Comes With Permanent Goals at Fresno State

DON'T MISS

What’s More Exciting Than a Veepstakes? A Surprise Veepstakes.

DON'T MISS

‘Deadpool & Wolverine’ Is Here to Shake up the Marvel Cinematic Universe

DON'T MISS

Salt Lake City Awarded 2034 Olympics Under IOC Pressure Over Doping Inquiries

DON'T MISS

Don’t Take Trump’s Word for It. Check the Data.

DON'T MISS

CA Task Force Seizes 8 Million Fentanyl Pills in Six Months: Gov. Newsom

DON'T MISS

Netanyahu Defends War in Gaza and Denounces Protesters In Fiery Speech to Congress

DON'T MISS

Central Trustees’ Vote Puts $109 Million Bond Measure on Ballot

DON'T MISS

Biden Will Make a Case for His Legacy – and for Harris to Continue It – in His Oval Office Address

UP NEXT

CrowdStrike Offers Meager $10 Gift Card as Apology for Massive Outage

UP NEXT

FBI Reveals Trump Gunman Wanted to Mimic Lee Harvey Oswald

UP NEXT

As Newsom Finishes His Governorship, Would-Be Successors Are Multiplying

UP NEXT

As US Home Sales Fall, California Expert Predicts Affordability Will Improve

UP NEXT

Former LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Announces Another Run for Governor

UP NEXT

Wildfires Plague the West Amid a Scorching Heat Wave and High Winds

UP NEXT

Frustrated Californians May Be Ready for a Tougher Approach to Crime

UP NEXT

Secret Service Director Steps Down After Assassination Attempt Against Ex-President Trump at Rally

UP NEXT

Dems Run the California Capitol. When the Party Backs a Bill, Lawmakers Pay Attention.

UP NEXT

Rescue From Above: How Drones May Narrow Emergency Response Times

‘Deadpool & Wolverine’ Is Here to Shake up the Marvel Cinematic Universe

25 mins ago

Salt Lake City Awarded 2034 Olympics Under IOC Pressure Over Doping Inquiries

1 hour ago

Don’t Take Trump’s Word for It. Check the Data.

1 hour ago

CA Task Force Seizes 8 Million Fentanyl Pills in Six Months: Gov. Newsom

1 hour ago

Netanyahu Defends War in Gaza and Denounces Protesters In Fiery Speech to Congress

2 hours ago

Central Trustees’ Vote Puts $109 Million Bond Measure on Ballot

2 hours ago

Biden Will Make a Case for His Legacy – and for Harris to Continue It – in His Oval Office Address

3 hours ago

Meta Takes Down Thousands of Facebook, Instagram Accounts Running Sextortion Scams

3 hours ago

Fresno Political Community Mourns Death of Sean Burdine

3 hours ago

Police Use Pepper Spray as Protesters March to U.S. Capitol Against Israel’s Gaza War

3 hours ago

Comic Con 2024: What to Expect as the Convention Returns to San Diego

SAN DIEGO — Comic-Con International, the comic book and pop culture extravaganza, is kicking off in San Diego. The convention, which draws o...

5 mins ago

5 mins ago

Comic Con 2024: What to Expect as the Convention Returns to San Diego

7 mins ago

Tim Skipper’s Interim Tag Comes With Permanent Goals at Fresno State

10 mins ago

What’s More Exciting Than a Veepstakes? A Surprise Veepstakes.

25 mins ago

‘Deadpool & Wolverine’ Is Here to Shake up the Marvel Cinematic Universe

1 hour ago

Salt Lake City Awarded 2034 Olympics Under IOC Pressure Over Doping Inquiries

1 hour ago

Don’t Take Trump’s Word for It. Check the Data.

Photo of Mexican Oxy, fentanyl laced blue pills
1 hour ago

CA Task Force Seizes 8 Million Fentanyl Pills in Six Months: Gov. Newsom

2 hours ago

Netanyahu Defends War in Gaza and Denounces Protesters In Fiery Speech to Congress

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend