New California law restricts police use of deadly force


SACRAMENTO (KRON) — With the new year will come new policies for police officers across the state.

2020 will bring a major update to police use of deadly force policies and training across the state.

The new measure changes language in the law that will require police to use deadly force from when reasonable, the current language, to now, when necessary.

It will still be up to prosecutors to interpret how those words differ.

In addition to setting one of the strictest use of force standards in the country, California will also prohibit police from firing their weapons on fleeing felons who don’t pose an immediate danger.

By 2021, all departments must establish clear and specific use of force guidelines, including a minimum standard for using deadly force and specific situations in which officers may or may not draw or point their firearm at a person.

California’s peace officer commission will develop mandatory training for officers that includes deescalation tactics, explicit and implicit bias and cultural competency, and mental health policing.

The new set of laws was inspired by the death of Stephon Clark. Police shot and killed the Sacramento man after officers mistook his cellphone for a gun.

State leaders have said the new standards are a symbol of compromise after years of contention between police and civil rights groups.

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