Skip to content

California state legislature weighs competing police reform bills

State legislators are debating a measure that proponents said would set a national precedent by creating statewide guidelines on when officers can use lethal force and requiring that every officer be trained in ways to avoid opening fire (SB 230 – Caballero).

But opponents said the law-enforcement-backed bill doesn’t go far enough because it would enshrine current rules that allow police to kill if they reasonably believe that they or others are in imminent danger. They are backing competing legislation sparked by last year’s shooting of unarmed vandalism suspect Stephon Clark that would set the first statewide policy allowing police to kill only if they have exhausted non-lethal methods of resolution or de-escalation (AB 392 – Weber).

The progressive advocacy group Courage Campaign, which ran ads promoting Ms. Weber’s bill, criticized Ms. Caballero for accepting nearly $12,000 from law enforcement organizations.