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US After Stephon Clark’s death, California may limit when police can shoot

02:41  05 april  2018
02:41  05 april  2018 Source:   vox.com

Why did Sacramento officers who shot Stephon Clark mute their bodycams?

  Why did Sacramento officers who shot Stephon Clark mute their bodycams? Police officials in Sacramento, California, boast about their use of body cameras, and the quick release of the footage they capture, as centerpieces of a larger effort to improve the public's trust.But the fatal shooting by police officers last week of an unarmed black man, Stephon Clark, has exposed a potential flaw in that effort and opened up a new front in the national debate over body cameras: officers' ability to turn off the microphone on the device.

The fatal police shooting of Stephon Clark in Sacramento last month reopened the national conversation about race, policing , and police violence, and California lawmakers are now proposing legislation that would restrict when police officers can use lethal force. On Tuesday, state legislators

California has adopted the strictest law in the United States limiting when police can use deadly force. The legislation was inspired by the 2018 police shooting of Stephon Clark , an unarmed black father of two killed by police in his grandparents’ backyard in Sacramento when officers mistook his

a group of people at night: Lawmakers in California are introducing a measure that would change the standard for when police can use lethal force. © Justin Sullivan/Getty Images Lawmakers in California are introducing a measure that would change the standard for when police can use lethal force.

The fatal police shooting of Stephon Clark in Sacramento last month reopened the national conversation about race, policing, and police violence.California lawmakers are now proposing legislation that would restrict when police officers can use lethal force. 

On Tuesday, state legislators announced that they had introduced a measure that would allow officers to use deadly force “only when necessary’ rather than ‘when reasonable,’” said Sacramento Assembly member Kevin McCarty, one of the bill’s sponsors.

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  Protesters block Golden 1 Center, again, after disrupting council meeting on shooting of Stephon Clark Hundreds of protesters headed toward Golden 1 Center in downtown Sacramento and blocked its entrance Tuesday night for the second time in a week, preventing Kings fans from attending an NBA game as the protesters called for action in the police shooting of Stephon Clark. Hundreds of protesters headed toward Golden 1 Center in downtown Sacramento and blocked its entrance Tuesday night for the second time in a week, preventing Kings fans from attending an NBA game as the protesters called for action in the police shooting of Stephon Clark.

Protest for the killing of Stephon Clark , who was shot by police officers in Sacramento, California , in In short, the bill aims to “affirmatively proscribe” — as in, explicitly limit — the instances when California has seen a spate of high-profile deadly police shootings, including the death of Willie

After Stephon Clark ' s death in Sacramento, many people are wondering whether anything has really changed in That's why it's unlikely that police will see their shooting training change back to " shoot , stop and assess." And while high gunshot counts can shock the general public, they're not as big a

Supporters of the new policy say that it’s an important distinction, especially in light of several recent high-profile police shootings of unarmed black men and women.

“Clearly the current standard ... isn’t enough to prevent the unnecessary deaths of members of the community, particularly people of color,” said Lizzie Buchen, a legislative advocate with the American Civil Liberties Union of California, at a press conference announcing the legislation. “It’s given legal cover to killings that have devastated communities, and resulted in people feeling less safe.”

The legislation, which is supported by members of California’s Legislative Black Caucus, Black Lives Matter Sacramento, the NAACP, the Anti-Police Terror Project, and other groups, would make California the first state in the nation to restrict officers’ ability to shoot to only when there is an immediate risk of death or bodily harm.

Sacramento mobilizes to make Stephon Clark the #LastOne

  Sacramento mobilizes to make Stephon Clark the #LastOne They didn't know Stephon Clark, but they came anyway Wednesday from all around this capital city, and parts beyond. They came alone, and in twos and threes.SACRAMENTO — They didn't know Stephon Clark, but they came anyway Wednesday from all around this capital city, and parts beyond. They came alone, and in twos and threes. They came because they said the 22-year-old could have been their brother, or son or grandson and they wanted to try to make sure that the way he died — unarmed and innocent, as far as they could tell — will never happen again.

The family of Stephon Clark , killed in a police shooting last month Tinkering with legal protections for police could make it more difficult to hire officers and is dangerous because they may hesitate Leslie McGill, executive director of the California Police Chiefs Association, and Cory Salzillo, a

The officers involved in the fatal shooting of Stephon Clark detailed the moments leading up to his death last year in nearly 800 pages of police reports and dispatch records released by the Sacramento Police Department.

Supporters of the California measure say it would not prohibit officers from using force to defend themselves in dangerous situations. But a group representing California police officers criticized the legislation, calling it a “dangerous new step.”

The new policy “deceptively pretends that creating a checklist of what constitutes necessary force instead of reasonable force is something more than irresponsible legislation,” the Peace Officers Research Organization of California, the largest group representing law enforcement in the state, said in a statement. “The end result is that the public will be placed at greater risk.”

The new proposal comes days after an independent autopsy found that Clark, an unarmed, young black man, was shot at 20 times after police mistook his cellphone for a weapon. He was hit eight times, mostly in his back. Benjamin Crump, the lawyer representing Clark’s family, has said that the autopsy “contradicts the police narrative that we’ve been told.”

Stephon Clark: Surrounded by love, trouble and tragedy, and now a rallying cry for justice after police shooting

  Stephon Clark: Surrounded by love, trouble and tragedy, and now a rallying cry for justice after police shooting Stephon Clark has become a social media hashtag, the latest inspiration for a national movement and the subject of numerous protests that have shut down freeways and interrupted NBA games. The image of the handsome 22-year-old African American man, wearing a broad smile next to his young sons and their mother in a formal family photo, has become a rallying cry for justice.

California ' s Democratic governor on Monday approved one of the the strictest police deadly force measures in the country, which says officers in the state can only use lethal force if it would prevent a suspect from killing or harming the officer or Police face no charges for killing Stephon Clark .

The shooting of Stephon Clark by police in Sacramento, California last year saw mass protests sweep the city, disrupting road traffic, a city She said that the bodycam video suggests that Clark ' s arms "were extended in a shooting stance" and the officers saw a flash, which one mistook for the

The shooting sparked protests and national public outcry. It also served as a stark reminder that even as national attention has waned, unarmed black men and women still continue to experience deadly encounters with police.

California police would be restricted from using lethal force except in extreme cases

Clark’s death follows several high-profile police shootings of black men and women in recent years.According to the Washington Post’s Fatal Force database, some 277 people have been shot and killed by police in 2018. Fifty-nine of those people were identified as black in news reports.

Research has shown that there are significant racial disparities in police use of force. While these disparities are most commonly attributed to issues like implicit bias and systemic racism, recent research has also noted that specific factors like high levels of housing segregation and economic inequality also play a role in where police shootings occur and whom they affect.

There’s another factor at play here as well: Police officers are generally given wide latitude to use force. As Vox’s German Lopez has noted, “Legal standards make it difficult to legally punish individual police officers for use of force, even when it might be excessive.”

Family of unarmed man killed by police to file federal lawsuit

  Family of unarmed man killed by police to file federal lawsuit Police shot at Stephon Clark 20 times in his grandmother's backyard, believing the cell phone he was holding was a gun . The Reverend Al Sharpton criticized the White House for calling the shooting a "local matter." After the funeral, Clark family attorney Ben Crump called for peace."Stephon Clark did not choose violence that night," Crump said. "We must choose nonviolence to make sure that we protest in our most productive way possible.

This standard has long been upheld by the Supreme Court. Two key decisions in the 1980s, Tennessee v. Garner and Graham v. Connor,created a framework for when cops can reasonably use deadly force.

David Klinger, a criminologist with the University of Missouri in St. Louis, told Vox that the first standard allows officers to use lethal force “to protect their life or the life of another innocent party.”

The second standard allows officers to shoot a person who is trying to escape after committing a violent felony, because that person could reasonably be deemed a threat to the community.

Taken together, these decisions form the “objective reasonableness” standard, or the idea that so long as an officer reacted to a reasonably perceived threat, their shooting is justified, even in cases where their perception turned out to be incorrect.

In the years since these two landmark cases, the idea has been challenged in court, but the standard has not been changed. On Monday, the Supreme Court sided with an Arizona police officer who shot a woman holding a kitchen knife at her side, saying in a 7-2 ruling that the officer’s decision to shoot was reasonable. In their dissent, Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg argued that the ruling “tells officers that they can shoot first and think later.”

Sacramento police shot their brother — two years before Stephon Clark

  Sacramento police shot their brother — two years before Stephon Clark The siblings of Joseph Mann say the latest fatal police shooting of a black man by Sacramento police shows that not enough has changed.SACRAMENTO — When the news of Stephon Clark's death broke on March 18, it arrived somewhere between entirely expected and just about unthinkable.

The new California legislation, if it passes, would enforce a stricter standard. It would instead require that an officer use fatal force only when they have exhausted all other alternatives, and when there is no possibility of deescalating the situation.

Experts on police use of force have had varied reactions to the proposal, with some calling it a positive step while others argue that it would create an undue burden on officers. University of South Carolina criminologist Geoffrey Alpert told CNN that the bill “doesn’t seem to change anything other than the language officers will use when explaining why deadly force was used.”

The legislation has been supported by members of Clark’s family.

At the Tuesday press conference, Cat Brooks, co-founder of the California-based Anti-Police Terror Project, said that the legislation is a step forward. “This bill is not an end-all, be-all,” she said. “But it is a critical step to ensuring that officers think twice before engaging with our communities like they are wartime combatants.”

Signs of progress emerge as Sacramento protests over Stephon Clark’s killing remain tense .
Sheriff’s cruiser strikes a demonstrator, heightening protests, but some rally organizers praise police chief’s handling of crisis.Slideshow by photo services

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