California eyes lethal force law after shootings by police

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Several state lawmakers and the family of a 22-year-old unarmed black man fatally shot by police want to make California the first to significantly restrict when officers can open fire.

Democratic Assembly members Shirley Weber and Kevin McCarty are proposing a bill Tuesday that would change the current “reasonable force” rule to “necessary force.”

The American Civil Liberties Union says it would mean officers could shoot only if there were no reasonable alternatives to using deadly force.

The goal is to encourage officers to defuse confrontations or use less-lethal weapons.

Law enforcement organizations aren’t immediately commenting.

The proposal comes after two Sacramento police officers chased Stephon Clark into his grandparents’ backyard. They say they shot at him because they thought he had a gun.

Investigators found only a cellphone.

Categories: California News