Sacramento wants to make it easier to prosecute cops

According to a story from the Blue Lives Matter California lawmakers want to make it easier to prosecute police officers who are involved in justified shootings with suspects who are unarmed or have imitation weapons. 

The Article says: 

Lawmakers in California are well-aware that the shooting was legally justified, and the only way to change that fact is to change the law itself, so that's what they are doing.

Currently, federal use of force is governed by federal case law. The case law allows officers to use deadly force if, considering the facts and circumstances presented to them at the time, and considering the officer's training and experience, they believe that a suspect is posing a deadly threat.

it continues 

California wants to change their legal standard from the “reasonable force” rule to “necessary force,” according to the Associated Press.

They define "necessary force" as force used when “there were no other reasonable alternatives to the use of deadly force.”

This initially seems close to the old standard, as they both require reasonableness. However, it does not allow for the officers to use force based on how circumstances appear to them at the time. Instead, it allows the officer to be judged in hindsight if the force was actually necessary.

The blogger went on to give a scenario in which these change would hurt officers. 

For example, if a suspect pulls a pellet gun on an officer, they are not actually presenting a deadly threat. The officer would have no reasonable way to know that the gun isn't a lethal firearm, but under the new law, they could be charged if they shoot that suspect.

This law would also appear to apply if somebody pulled an unloaded gun on an officer, or drew a malfunctioning gun. In these circumstance, unbeknownst to the officer, the suspect is not actually presenting a deadly threat. If the officer reasonably responds by shooting that person, they could be criminally charged.


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Mike Broomhead

Mike Broomhead

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