Proposal would limit when California police can use their guns

Proposal would limit when California police can use their guns
Image: U.S. News video screen grab

[Ed. – Great idea]

Several state lawmakers and the family of a 22-year-old unarmed black man fatally shot by police are proposing Tuesday that California become the first state to significantly restrict when officers can open fire.

The proposed legislation would change the current “reasonable force” rule to a “necessary force” standard.

That means officers would be allowed to shoot only if “there were no other reasonable alternatives to the use of deadly force” to prevent imminent serious injury or death, said American Civil Liberties Union legislative advocate Lizzie Buchen, whose organization is among the groups behind the bill.

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The goal is to encourage officers to try to defuse confrontations or use less-lethal weapons, said Terry Schanz, a spokesman for Assemblyman Kevin McCarty of Sacramento. McCarty is co-authoring the bill with fellow Democratic Assemblywoman Shirley Weber of San Diego.

Leslie McGill, executive director of the California Police Chiefs Association, and Cory Salzillo, a lobbyist for the California State Sheriffs’ Association, said they hadn’t seen the proposed bill and couldn’t comment.

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