Cal. tight­ens re­stric­tions on po­lice use of lethal force

Global Times US Edition - - US SOCIETY -

California po­lice of­fi­cers will be al­lowed to use lethal force only when “nec­es­sary” in re­sponse to a threat, in­stead of the ex­ist­ing stan­dard of “rea­son­able”, un­der a new law signed by Gover­nor Gavin New­som on Mon­day.

Un­der the stricter stan­dards, of­fi­cers must be­lieve they have no other choice to “de­fend against an im­mi­nent threat of death or se­ri­ous bod­ily in­jury to the of­fi­cer or an­other per­son,” an ab­stract of the law pub­lished on­line says.

The new law, which of­fi­cials say is one of the most re­stric­tive in the US, is partly a re­sponse to po­lice shoot­ings of un­armed black men. Those in­clude the death of Stephon Clark, 22, who was killed by Sacra­mento po­lice in March 2018, touch­ing off protests across the state. Clark, who was black, was stand­ing in his grand­mother’s yard, when he was shot and killed last year. The two of­fi­cers were ex­on­er­ated in March, touch­ing off more protests.

At the sign­ing, New­som said he hoped California’s new law would be­come a model for the na­tion. “As California goes, so goes the rest of the US of Amer­ica,” New­som said, ac­cord­ing to news me­dia. “And we are do­ing some­thing to­day that stretches the bound­aries of pos­si­bil­ity and sends a mes­sage to peo­ple all across the coun­try – that more can be done.”

Clark’s fam­ily at­tended the sign­ing cer­e­mony at the in­vi­ta­tion of the gover­nor. The law goes into ef­fect in Jan­uary. But not all of them were en­tirely pleased.

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