Starting Jan. 1, police can legally use deadly force only when “necessary in defense of human life.” That’s a higher standard than prosecutors apply now, when officers are permitted to use such force when it is “reasonable.”
An iteration of the change was first introduced in 2018 after unarmed Stephon Clark was killed by Sacramento police. The bill stalled until civil rights groups and police struck a compromise, securing passage in the Legislature and Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature.
In this video, CalMatters political reporter Laurel Rosenhall — who closely tracked the battle all year — breaks down the new law in 1 minute.
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