(From Press Release) – Today, the California Senate Public Safety Committee voted to pass Senate Bill 230 with substantial amendments, including an amendment requiring that SB 230’s passage be contingent on the passage of AB 392: The California Act to Save Lives.
AB 392 was introduced by Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) to change California’s use of force standard from the “reasonable” standard to the “necessary” standard to reduce the number of police shootings and hold law enforcement officers accountable.
The current “reasonable” standard allows officers to kill people even when there is no immediate threat and officers have alternatives to deadly force. On the other hand, the “necessary” standard would ensure that officers avoid using deadly force whenever possible, allowing them to use deadly force only when there is an immediate threat to their safety and when there are no reasonable alternatives available.
The ACLU of California, Alliance for Boys and Men of Color/PolicyLink, Anti Police-Terror Project, California Faculty Association, Justice Teams Network, PICO California, Silicon Valley De-Bug, STOP Coalition, and Youth Justice Coalition, proponents of AB 392, issued this joint statement in response to today’s committee vote:
“The Senate Public Safety Committee has made it clear: AB 392 is the vehicle for the reform Californians want and need to keep families safe and free from police violence.
AB 392 is still the only bill that will meaningfully change the current use of force standard, which allows police officers to kill people even when it is not necessary to defend themselves or others.
Today’s amendments demonstrate that the status quo on policing has failed far too many California families. Thanks to the leadership of families and communities most affected by police brutality, abuse, and violence, consensus is growing that change is required to achieve real justice, real accountability, and real reform. AB 392 is that reform.”
Senate Public Safety Committee Amends SB 230
The state Senate Public Safety Committee, chaired by Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, today approved substantial amendments to SB 230, by Sen. Anna Caballero, D-Salinas, limiting the legislation to address law enforcement training on police use of force and making the bill’s passage dependent on the passage of AB 392, by Assemblymember Shirley Weber, San Diego.
With the committee’s amendments, SB 230 no longer contains language that could conflict with AB 392, which seeks to revise California’s existing police use-of-force standard. Additionally, SB 230’s training components cannot become law unless AB 392 also becomes law.
“With the Public Safety Committee’s amendments, SB 230’s training provisions are now dependent on the governor signing AB 392, which, if passed, would revise California’s use-of-force standard,” Skinner said. “If the Legislature does not adopt a new use-of-force standard, it is not necessary to modify training, as our statewide training agency already provides training based on the current standard.”
The amendments, agreed to by Sen. Caballero, also require the law enforcement training in SB 230 to conform to what is ultimately adopted under AB 392.
“While better training for our law enforcement officials is clearly beneficial, it only makes sense to tie that training to a revised use-of-force standard that could help reduce police use-of-force incidents,” Skinner added.
Assemblymember Weber Responds to Committee’s Action on SB 230
Assemblymember Shirley N. Weber (D-San Diego), the author of legislation to reform police use-of-force legislation, responded to the Senate Public Safety Committee’s action today on SB 230 (Caballero).
“I want to commend Chair Nancy Skinner and the Senate Public Safety Committee members for their action on SB 230 today. These changes acknowledge that the bill’s original provisions codifying the existing use-of-force standard would undermine reform and continue to yield the same deadly results.
“The committee’s amendments to SB 230 would now ensure that law enforcement officers are trained to the necessary standard in AB 392 should it become law, a standard that would limit the use of deadly force to circumstances where there is an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury.
“I believe today’s action means that the families who have lost loved ones to police violence have been heard, that their loss matters and that they deserve real change. My commitment to them is that AB 392 will continue to be the vehicle for that change.”