Stephon Clark was shot and killed in his backyard after 2 police officers shot him 7 times in Sacramento, Ca. The shooting resulted in massive protest in Sacramento, following numerous protest in California for other questionable police shooting deaths of unarmed black men. Now, California Govenor Gavin Newsom signed the "Stephon Clark" bill into law which changes the requirement for police shootings from "reasonable" to "necessary."
California has adopted one of the nation’s strictest laws regulating police use of force, hoping it will deter shootings by law enforcement agents.
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday signed Assembly Bill 392, which changes the standard for police officers’ justified use of deadly force from instances when it’s “reasonable’’ to when it’s “necessary.’’
The law redefines when police can resort to deadly force “based on the totality of the circumstances’’ and encourages the use of de-escalation techniques and crisis-intervention methods.
“We are doing something today that stretches the boundary of possibility and sends a message to people all across this country that they can do more and they can do better to meet this moment,” Newsom said as he stood alongside family members of people killed by police.
Modifications to the previous law, advocated by activist groups like Black Lives Matter, were prompted by officer-involved shootings such as the March 2018 killing of Stephon Clark, an unarmed black man gunned down outside his grandparents’ house in the state capital of Sacramento when police mistook his cellphone for a firearm.
Newsom said the new law will reduce the number of lives lost and begin to heal communities.
The measure by Democratic Assemblywoman Shirley Weber of San Diego, which initially met fierce resistance from law enforcement organizations, made it through the state Legislature with bipartisan support after it was amended to address police concerns.