“Police officers should avoid using deadly force whenever possible. But, right now, officers can legally use deadly force and kill someone even when they have other alternatives,” Assemblymember Weber explained to the American Civil Liberties Union. On February 6th, California Assemblymembers Weber and McCarty introduced Assembly Bill 392 to amend the penal code in order to regulate the use of lethal force by police officers. After the horrendous shooting of Stephon Clark, investigations have been launched into the Sacramento Police Department and other departments around the state. Assembly Bill 392 was proposed as an attempt to limit the ability of these officers to use violent force. The bill was proposed on a state level and after the shooting of Stephon Clark. The arrests activists at protests in Sacramento are have many call for this implementation on a local level.
While California has the 18th lowest rate of incarceration in the country, our prisons are disproportionately filled with people of color. Even as efforts are made to end this systematic incarceration, violence at the hands of police still plagues these communities. Continual violence at the hands of police has proven time and time again that no change will genuinely made unless a bill is passed. While certain departments are promising to make their own independent policy changes to help remedy this brutality, and while these attempted policies are bringing more attention to the issue, without legal intervention the problem will not be completely stopped.
This issue cannot continued to be ignored, politicians across California and Sacramento specifically are finally being forced to acknowledge and respond to this violence, the entire nation is watching anxiously for the vote of Assembly Bill 392.