SACRAMENTO, CA (STL.News) – Monday, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 392 by Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D-San Diego). The bill enacts one of the strongest use-of-force laws in the country.
AB 392 modernizes standards for use of deadly force by officers. Specifically, this bill updates the existing deadly force standards to provide that deadly force may only be used when necessary. AB 392 also requires officers to use other techniques to address threats instead of using deadly force when safe to do so, encouraging law enforcement to train on and use de-escalation techniques like verbal persuasion and other crisis intervention methods.
“This is a time for healing, progress and looking forward. The bill goes to the heart of some of our most sacred principles, in which force should be exercised judiciously, with respect for human life and dignity. The bottom line is that deadly force should only be used when absolutely necessary,” said Governor Newsom.
“With the Governor’s signature, we are closer to a culture of policing in California that values and preserves human life,” said Assemblymember Weber. “Working on this policy has been a high hill to climb, but what has lifted me up is the energy and the devotion of the families who have lost loved ones to these shootings. Our hope all along has been to save lives and to finally establish trust between law enforcement and communities of color.”
The provisions in AB 392 will be reflected in both law enforcement agency policy and officer training statewide, and will further ensure that all officers in California are trained to a higher legal standard. Use-of-force policies have remained largely unchanged since 1874.