Police ‘Use of Force’ Bill Signed Into Law

Max Rodriguez

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The California Governor Gavin Newsom sets tighter standards for police by signing into law a bill that requires lethal force only when it is necessary to prevent greater harm.

The previous law set the standard of lethal force use to when it is “reasonable” now it is set to cases when it is “necessary”.

This is a response from the governor’s office to protests and outcry from the Sacramento community over the death of unarmed 22-year-old Stephon Clark.

Some of the law enforcement agencies in the Coachella Valley already have standards in place that align with the new law.

The Public Information Officer for the Indio Police Department, Ben Guitron, said departments across the state will revamp procedures and re-visit training under the new law.

Guitron said, “Every agency and their policy and procedures adapting the new law that was just implemented and along with that will come training.”

Part of the training that police officers will take is de-escalation training. Sergeant Mike Casavan with the Palm Springs Police Department said de-escalation training can make community police safer for officers and the residents.

Casavan said, “We’ve had de-escalation style training in the past but never to this level that we’re going to be getting it with the signing of this assembly bill.”

The President of the Riverside Sheriff’s Association, Bill Young, said a senate bill currently pending in Sacramento is the missing piece to achieve the training needed to prevent the police shootings.

Young said, “Senate Bill 230 covers the training, so it’s requiring that every California law enforcement receives the most robust training in the nation strictly designed to minimize the use of force.”

The law enforcement agencies said the law that was signed on Monday comes after negotiations with police associations and legislative bodies, but overall does not change their mission of serving the community.

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