Can California really act to save lives?

Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner and Michael Brown: These were three of the many other names that were mentioned when Assembly Bill 392 was reintroduced by California Democratic assembly members Shirley Weber and Kevin McCarty on Feb. 6.

AB 392, also known as the “California Act to Save Lives,” would set parameters around police officers’ use of deadly force, according to an article published by The Sacramento Bee.

The article also said the bill would easily allow people to “file criminal charges against officers who use deadly force not deemed necessary.”

In 2017, 172 people were shot and killed by police in California, according to the state Department of Justice stated in the article.

Holding police officers accountable for the excessively violent ways they handle situations is important and even more important for that accountability to shape into some sort of law or standard in policy regarding police brutality.

Holding police officers accountable for the excessively violent ways they handle situations is important.”

The Sacramento Police Department, in particular, began looking into their foot-and-chase policy following the death of Stephon Clark, an unarmed black man who was shot and killed by police officers back in March.

If there’s anything that could change the status quo, it’s legislation. No matter how much protest there is on the streets, no amount of social movement can better shake up police brutality than a legal action of accountability.

Should California pass AB 392?

  • No (67%, 2 Votes)
  • Yes (33%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 3

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However, police unions and police departments opposed Weber’s bill last year, arguing it would have threatened officers’ lives, according to The Sacramento Bee.

Black people have the highest risk of getting injured during a confrontation with California law enforcement, according to a 2018 study published in Journal of the American Medical Association.

Racial profiling and automatically seeing black people as criminals is a problem that needs to be acknowledged and addressed by every person working in law enforcement.

Until there are policies that are enforced even down to the local levels, California will never truly be able to save lives.