California Governor signs bill limiting police use of deadly force to address threats

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California Governor Gavin Newsom approved a bill requiring police officers to limit the use of deadly force such as shooting to address threats.

On Monday, Gov. Newsom signed AB 392, which was introduced by Assembly member Shirley Weber. It is considered one of the strongest use-of-force laws in the United States.

AB 392 updates the existing standards for use of deadly force by police officers. The law requires police officers to use deadly force only when necessary. They must use other techniques to address threats when it is safe to do so.

Additionally, law encourages law enforcement to have training regarding using de-escalation techniques and other crisis intervention methods.

The law ensures that all police officers in California receive higher legal standard training.

California police officers can only use deadly force when “absolutely necessary”

In a statement, Gov. Newsom said, “This is a time for healing, progress and looking forward. The bill goes to the heart of some of our most sacred principles, in which force should be exercised judiciously, with respect for human life and dignity. The bottom line is that deadly force should only be used when absolutely necessary.”

On the other hand, Assembly member Weber commented, “With the Governor’s signature, we are closer to a culture of policing in California that values and preserves human life,”

“Working on this policy has been a high hill to climb, but what has lifted me up is the energy and the devotion of the families who have lost loved ones to these shootings. Our hope all along has been to save lives and to finally establish trust between law enforcement and communities of color,” she added.

Meanwhile, Ben Adler of Capital Public Radio noted, “Right now, deadly force is justified if a reasonable officer would have acted similarly in that situation. So in other words, what a typical officer would have done based on his or her training. When the law takes effect in January, that standard will change to when the officer reasonable reasonably believes deadly force is necessary.”