Clark killing revives push to toughen police shooting rules

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A prosecutor’s finding that Sacramento police broke no laws when they killed an unarmed black man last year is leading to new support for legislation that changes when police officers can use deadly force.

State lawmakers have revived a measure first introduced after 22-year-old Stephon Clark’s slaying that would make California the first state to allow police to use deadly force only if there is no reasonable alternative.

Legal experts said Monday that stricter training and use-of-force policies in cities including New York and Seattle are reducing officer-involved deaths. But they say the key is that officers must adopt a different mindset that makes gunfire a last resort.

The legislation stalled last year amid opposition from law enforcement. Now, police associations are offering a less sweeping alternative that emphasizes de-escalation.

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