News Release

CSU Faculty, Coalition of Activists Call on Legislature to Pass Bill to Reduce Deadly Police Shootings in California
NEWS FROM THE CALIFORNIA FACULTY ASSOCIATION

AB 392, introduced by Assemblymember Shirley Weber, would bring CA law up to date and in line with best practices to avoid deadly shootings and ensure community safety.

SACRAMENTO — The California Faculty Association, in coalition with police reform advocates, civil rights organizations, labor unions and families of those who have lost loved ones to police violence are calling for support of AB 392: The California Act to Save Lives (Weber, D–San Diego), a bill to update California’s police use of force standards.

Under California’s current law, police can use deadly force regardless of whether it was necessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury and regardless of whether there were available alternatives. AB 392 would update police use of force protocols by establishing adequate and constitutional standards to ensure officers avoid the use of deadly force at every possible opportunity.

“Too many working class and families of color have been ripped apart by police violence in California. Too often we see the repercussions of that deadly force on our campuses among our CSU student population as students grieve the loss of a loved one or are themselves fearful of police violence,” said CFA President Jennifer Eagan. CFA is co-sponsoring AB 392, just as we were among the co-sponsors of SB 1421, a law passed last year that makes public the findings of police investigations and the right to know the discipline enacted in cases of police ‘deadly and serious uses of force.’

AB 392, in addition to ensuring that police can use deadly force only when there are no alternatives, would update the standard used to determine whether officers’ criminal negligence makes them liable for taking someone’s life. California police kill people at a rate 37% higher than the national average per capita. In 2017, California police killed 172 people – more than two-thirds of whom were people of color. Numbers for 2018 are currently being compiled by the state’s department of justice.

In a report conducted after the shooting death of Stephon Clark the California Department of Justice recommended that the Sacramento Police Department update its use of force guidelines to more clearly define when force is, and is not, authorized and require that officers exhaust all reasonably available alternatives before using deadly force.

Several police agencies and law enforcement organizations outside of California have recommended or already adopted stricter use-of-force standards similar to those proposed under this bill. Seattle, for example, saw a significant reduction in the number of serious use-of-force incidents after adopting a use of force standard like that of AB 392.

The California Act to Save Lives is supported by the California Faculty Association, along with ACLU of California, Alliance for Boys and Men of Color/PolicyLink, Anti Police-Terror Project, Black Lives Matter – California, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ), California Families United 4 Justice, PICO California, Silicon Valley DeBug, STOP Coalition, UDW America – AFSCME Local 3930, Youth Justice Coalition.

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ABOUT THE CALIFORNIA FACULTY ASSOCIATION: CFA represents more than 28,000 tenured and tenure-track instructional faculty, lecturers, librarians, counselors and coaches on the 23 campuses of the California State University system, from Humboldt State in the north, to San Diego State in the south. Learn more about CFA at calfac.org.

Contact: Lisa Cohen ‪310-395-2544, Alice Sunshine ‪510-384-1967, Niesha Fritz ‪916-281-8785

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