Police shootings: California could limit when officers shoot to kill

At issue is Assembly Bill 392, known as the California Act to Save Lives, which would put the onus on officers to justify discharging their weapon, shifting the standard from “reasonable” – as defined by the Supreme Court’s Graham v Connor ruling in 1989 – to “necessary.” That means that, under the proposed bill, police must feel confident it is necessary to shoot to protect themselves or others from danger, or they could be prosecuted for killing a person. 

Instead of reaching for their guns, officers would be pressed to engage in de-escalation tactics that aim to reduce tension between officer and suspect. Experts said these include listening to the suspect’s story, explaining the actions an officer is about to take and ensuring that the suspect’s dignity is preserved throughout the interaction.

Police shootings: California could limit when officers shoot to kill

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