May 30: PPOA’s commitment to the legislative process stretches back nearly 40 years and the diligent work from our full-time lobbyists in the state capitol has positively impacted the rights and benefits of generations of PPOA members.
This week, PPOA received an update from our Legislative Representative John Lovell regarding the controversial “use of force” bill — AB392. Here is the summary:
Last week, Assembly Bill 392, Assembly Member Weber’s use of force bill, was amended to remove many of its features which were objectionable to law enforcement. As a result of those amendments, a number of law enforcement organizations have shifted their position on that bill from “oppose” to “neutral”, including PORAC, the California Police Chiefs Association, the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, the California State Sheriffs Association and the Los Angeles Police Protective League.
The language of the bill continues to direct officers to “use deadly force only when necessary in defense of human life.” The bill also directs officers, when possible, to use techniques to de-escalate the situation before using their firearm, the language “when possible” represents a change from the original version of AB 392, which explicitly required officers to exhaust nonlethal alternatives before resorting to deadly force.
As further amended, the bill no longer defines what would constitute a “necessary” use of force (previously, AB 392 defined “necessary” as being where there is “no reasonable alternative” to use of force). Instead, the bill now provides that the actions of both the officer and the suspect would be considered in court in determining whether a shooting is justified. Previously, the bill itself defined what constituted “necessary” circumstances and provided that the court would determine the actions of only the officer in determining whether a shooting was justified. Under the current version of the bill, the issue of whether the use of deadly force was “necessary” will now be left to the courts on a case-by-case basis.
Under the revised version of the bill, it is clear that officers are not required to retreat or back down in the face of a suspect’s resistance and that officers will continue to have their right to self-defense if they use “objectively reasonable force.”
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