Family of Stephon Clark wants tighter restrictions on police use of deadly force

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The family of Stephon Clark led a rally Thursday at the state capitol in support of a proposed law that could change when police use deadly force. 

Clark’s grandmother and brother stood front and center urging lawmakers to pass AB 392, legislation that would restrict when officers can use deadly force. 

“To prevent anything like this from happening to anybody else’s family, that’s the best we can do,” his brother Stevante Clark said. 

Assemblymember Shirley Weber is one of the main authors of the bill and says officers know how to use restraint. She pointed to the arrest of Nikolas Cruz, the suspect accused of carrying out the Parkland shooting.

“”Anytime someone can kill 17 people in Florida, which says they are a dangerous individual who not only has the means but the desire to take life, and they can be apprehended without any incident, speaks to the fact that our officers do know how to take individuals into control without having to take their lives,” Weber said. 

Demonstrators also urged the senator who authored competing legislation to drop the bill. 

Police officer and Vice President of the Peace Officers Research Association of California, Damon Kurtz said, “I think it’s an emotional response right now, I understand it…”

The group helped develop SB 230 which is a bill that calls for police officers to have more mental health training and response teams. 

Kurtz believes the bill is more effective than what AB 392 proposes. 

“What are the circumstances leading up to use of force? Many times it’s mental health, substance abuse, many times more than not that’s the case,” Kurtz said.

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