Paul Boisvert: Assembly bill will clarify use of deadly force
August 5, 2018
It seems that the last few years have seen an unfortunate increase in the use of deadly force by some police officers. Nevada County has not had that experience, but questionable shootings have occurred in nearby Sacramento.
Part of the problem may be the standard police use to determine when deadly force is acceptable. Currently, they can use lethal force when it is "reasonable" rather than absolutely necessary. Police should never kill when alternatives exist.
Enormous racial disparities exist in police use of force. Studies show that unarmed young black men are killed at twenty times the rate as young white men. These killings have widened the rift between communities of color and law enforcement.
Although we do not have a large number of minorities in our community, we should stand up with those citizens who are so egregiously affected and demand a higher standard for our law enforcement agencies to follow.
Assembly Bill 931 will clarify that police should use deadly force only when there are no alternatives. Several police agencies and law enforcement organizations have recommended or already adopted stricter use-of-force standards similar to those proposed by AB931. I strongly urge our representatives, Dahle and Gaines, to support this legislation.
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