Bill to change police use of force standard moving through state legislature

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SACRAMENTO (KGET) — AB392, a bill that would change police officers’ use of force in California, faced its first test in the senate Tuesday.

A hearing room was once again packed for the measure that would change the standard for when police can use deadly force from when “reasonable” to “necessary.”

Tearful testimony from mothers reliving their sons’ deaths at the hands of police.

For the third time this legislative session, community members from across California lined up to show their support for the bill, including the grandmother and aunt of Stephon Clark, the man whose death inspired the legislation.

“So that we can end the deadly use of force that has been taking countless lives of unarmed citizens,” Jamilia Land, Clark’s aunt.

Some supporters called out specific police departments for their use of force, including Fresno, Bakersfield and Vallejo.

“There’s a crisis in our city, citizens are very fearful,” said Vallejo resident Rhonda Renfro.

Although no one stepped to the microphone to speak in opposition at the hearing, the bill’s latest analysis shows several local police groups still disapprove, some saying the bill makes no changes to use of force policies or guidelines.

Back in the hearing room, there was a discussion on race which the bill’s counterpart SB230 aims to address with training.

“Race is always the core and it demonstrates itself more in positions of authority and we see it here in law enforcement,” said Democratic Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Gardena).

The public safety committee passed the measure unanimously.

“I want to thank all the families that have been willing to endure that pain over and over again in the name of making positive change in California,” said Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco).

The bill now heads directly to the senate floor for approval.

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