California police chiefs deliver response to proposed bill on use of force

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Tuesday, April 10, 2018
California police chiefs respond to proposed use of force bill
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Police chiefs from across California delivered their response Monday to proposed legislation they say would protect criminals and put communities in danger.

FAIRFIELD, Calif. (KGO) -- Law enforcement groups voiced their opposition Monday to a proposed bill that would raise the standards for police officers to use deadly force.

Police chiefs say they are dumbfounded they were not included in collaborative efforts with the bill introduced in response to the Stephon Clark shooting in Sacramento.

Police shot and killed an unarmed man in his grandmother's backyard.

The proposed legislation would increase the legal standards of when deadly force can be used.

It would only allow officers to use lethal force as a final option-when there's imminent threat of injury of death.

Authors of the bill say the goal is to save lives.

Police say it will do the opposite.

The California Police Chiefs Association along with members of the California Peace Officers Association met Monday to issue a joint statement - saying this would put officers and their communities at risk.

Use of force situations are dynamic split second decisions. Requiring officers to wait for backup and causing officers to second guess themselves in life and death decisions will lead to the increase in number and severity of victims injured," California Police Chiefs Association President David Swing said.

The authors and supporters of the legislation argue that the current law protects police but not the public.

It allows them to use lethal force during a reasonable threat. The bill wants that language changed to a necessary threat.

Police chiefs from all over the Bay Area and beyond were at the press conference Monday, including chiefs from San Pablo and San Rafael.

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