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California lawmakers are proposing new laws regulating use of deadly force by law enforcement

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Time for a re-election campaign.  Much more work to do.  <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AD7?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AD7</a>. <a href="https://t.co/m4IwKZX3Of">pic.twitter.com/m4IwKZX3Of</a></p>&mdash; Kevin McCarty (@KevinMcCartyCA) <a href="https://twitter.com/KevinMcCartyCA/status/972645268716797953?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 11, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
California Assemblymember Kevin McCarty. Image credit: Twitter.

State lawmakers in California are proposing that the Golden State became the first “necessary force” state, severely restricting when officers can legally open fire.

Under the proposed law, “reasonable force” would go out the window, creating a restriction on the escalation of force which would require “no other reasonable alternatives to the use of deadly force” before opening fire.

Placing emphasis on diffusing situations and utilizing less-lethal alternative, the bill was co-authored by Democratic Assemblyman Kevin McCarty of Sacramento and Democratic Assemblywoman Shirley Weber of San Diego, respectively.

California Assemblymember Shirley Weber. Credit: Twitter.

Advocating the bill, American Civil Liberties Union legislative advocate Lizzie Buchen says the current standard “gives very broad discretion for using deadly force,” adding that “It doesn’t mean there has to have been a threat. If a reasonable officer could have perceived a threat and responded with deadly force, then it’s legal.” Clearly the ACLU is looking to end that in what might set a dangerous precedent for officers all over the country.

According to the Dayton Daily News, separate legislation proposed by Democratic State Senator Nancy Skinner of Berkeley would make law enforcement records on officer use of force, on the job sexual assault or dishonesty available to the public.

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