Police in California shouldn’t be allowed to kill at will
— — — — — Forwarded message — — — — - Date: Thu, Mar 28, 2019 at 3:45 PM To: <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org> Cc: <CityCouncil@citrusheights.net>
To the Citrus Heights City Council:
I was disappointed and embarrassed to read in the news that you are preparing a resolution and letter in opposition to AB 392 (“Citrus Heights council members take step to oppose AB 392 use-of-force bill,” Citrus Heights Sentinel).
AB 392 will not “get officers killed” as council member Daniels was quoted.
The bill specifies that officers are allowed to use deadly force in self defense, in defense of another, “or when the killing is necessary to prevent the escape of a fleeing felon whose immediate apprehension is necessary to prevent death or serious injury.”
We shouldn’t allow police to kill outside of these circumstances. This isn’t the Wild West.
If police officers and departments get sued or charged for killing people outside of these circumstances, then that would be a good incentive for police officers and departments to avoid such killings.
I urge you to amend your resolution and letter to support the passage of AB 392. Black lives matter and the constant stream of unjustified police killings needs to stop.
Sincerely, Phillip Kim Citrus Heights, CA
By Dan Walters
Penal Code Section 196, enacted in 1872 when California was the nation’s sparsely populated westernmost frontier, declares that a police officer may lawfully kill someone while “arresting persons charged with felony, and who are fleeing from justice or resisting such arrest.”
Similar laws in other states have been overturned by the courts, but California’s remains intact, described in a legislative report as “the single oldest unamended law enforcement use of force statute in the country.”
In practice, it is the basic reason why California’s police officers are almost never prosecuted when they kill someone, even when the circumstances indicate that deadly force was not needed.