California Lawmakers Want to Limit When Cops Can Open Fire

Several California lawmakers proposed legislation on Tuesday that would “significantly restrict when officers can open fire,” according to the Associated Press. The proposed measure would change the standard from “reasonable force” to “necessary force”—meaning cops would only be allowed to open fire if there are “no other reasonable alternatives to the use of deadly force,” explained Lizzie Buchen, a legislative advocate for the American Civil Liberties Union. The goal of the legislation is to encourage police officers to de-escalate confrontations and use non-lethal force, according to a spokesperson for one the bill’s co-authors. Some members of law enforcement have called the proposed legislation “irresponsible and unworkable." Ed Obayashi, a Plumas County sheriff’s deputy, insisted police already work to diffuse such situations and only use guns as a last resort. The proposal would subject police officers who don't follow the new rules to “discipline or firing, sometimes even criminal charges.”