California Considering Unprecedented Law Restricting Police Firearm Use


On the heels of police officers shooting a young, unarmed black man to death in Sacramento, California, last month, state lawmakers announced a first-of-its-kind bill on Monday that raises the standard for when officers may open fire.

The proposed legislation would change the guidance in California’s use of force laws so that police may open fire ”‘only when necessary’ rather than ‘when reasonable,’” Sacramento-based Assemblyman Kevin McCarty (D), said at a press conference Tuesday.

He co-authored the bill with fellow Democrat Assemblywoman Shirley Weber with support from the American Civil Liberties Union and fellow members of the California Legislative Black Caucus. They were joined at Tuesday’s press conference with Sacramento leaders from the NAACP and the Black Lives Matter movement, along with the grandfather of 22-year-old Stephon Clark, last month’s shooting victim.

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