Major legislation that would have toughened state standards for police officers to use deadly force will not advance this year.
Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) announced late Wednesday that lawmakers did not have enough time to garner support for the measure to pass both houses of the Legislature by Friday’s deadline. Atkins said lawmakers would resume work on the effort next year.
“Make no mistake: We have a critical problem that remains unaddressed,” Atkins said in a statement. “We need to end preventable deaths and to do so without jeopardizing the safety of law enforcement officers.”
Assembly Bill 931 would have required police departments across the state to update their policies to indicate when officers are allowed to use force. Under the bill, such policies would have had to include rules stating that officers must exhaust reasonable alternatives before turning to deadly force, including using verbal warnings and tactics aimed at de-escalating encounters. If such standards were violated, departments could have faced greater liability in civil court and disciplined officers more easily than they can now.
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