San Jose Mayor disappointed after rubber bullets authorized for police

Bay Area

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) – While San Jose’s new policy restricts when the rubber bullets can be used in certain situations, the mayor says the projectiles shouldn’t be used at all.

“I think it’s important we have bright-line rules and that’s why I think we ought to be taking some weapons off the table and ensuring we only have the use of weapons not as lethal,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo.

He was disappointed after the city council’s decision on Tuesday was made to continue police use of rubber bullets in certain crowd situations.

The 10-1 city council decision comes amid a heated debate on the use of the projectiles during Tuesday’s meeting.

“And after the recent release of San Jose police bodycam footage from a may protest in response to the death of George Floyd.”

The new policy restricts police from using rubber bullets to disperse crowds, but it allows the use in a crowd situation if someone poses a threat to others, or attacks an officer or another person.

“I am concerned. In chaotic situations such as we’ve seen where we’ve got large mass protests and 99% of the people may be very peaceful, but you got a few people who are instigators, who are violent, who may be criminal. It creates a very chaotic situation,” Liccardo said.

Liccardo suggested using other tools instead.

“Where police have options to use less-lethal tools and weapons to protect themselves particularly in crowded situations they should. they shouldn’t be going to rubber bullets. They could be using pepper spray, or pepper balls, or tasers.”

Liccardo says they’re working on other police reforms. A measure will be in front of voters in November regarding the powers of the independent police auditor.

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