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Four Bills Governor Newsom Should Prioritize Signing to Improve Police Accountability and Prevent Gun Violence

September 9, 2020

Before gaveling out for the 2020 legislative session, California lawmakers passed three critical police accountability bills that would help address the disproportionate toll of police violence on marginalized communities in California and a bill that would improve public safety by bolstering the gun violence restraining order process.

Here are the bills that California Moms Demand Action is urging Governor Newsom to prioritize signing in the coming weeks:

  • Assembly Bill 1196 would prohibit a law enforcement agency from authorizing the use of chokeholds and other techniques that involve a substantial risk of asphyxia.
  • Assembly Bill 1185 would authorize a county to establish a sheriff oversight board. The chair of the board would have subpoena power to investigate matters within their jurisdiction.
  • Assembly Bill 1506 would create better police accountability procedures by requiring a state prosecutor to investigate incidents of officer-involved use of force resulting in the death of an unarmed civilian upon request from a local law enforcement agency, district attorney, city council, or county or city and county board of supervisors.
  • Assembly Bill 2617 would allow enforcement of out-of-state gun violence restraining orders, so long as those orders are similar to the orders issued in the state of California.  

Every year, police in America shoot and kill more than 1,000 people, according to data from Mapping Police Violence. Black and Latino people in the United States are also far more likely to be shot and killed by law enforcement than their white counterparts. On average, police kill 159 Californians every year, and Black and Latino Californians are far more likely to be killed by police than white Californians. Research finds that meaningful use of force policies reduce police shootings. By encouraging de-escalation, utilizing early intervention systems, and ensuring that officers who act in a manner that is criminally negligent can be held accountable, use of force policies can ensure that laws help advance safety and promote trust in the police.

While California has some of the strongest gun laws in the country, there is still an average of more than 3,000 gun deaths in the state every year. And between 2014 and 2018, more than 300 women were fatally shot by an intimate partner. Assembly Bill 2617 allows California to enforce extreme risk protection orders from other states, so long as those orders are similar to the orders issued in the state of California. 

More statistics about gun violence in California are available here, and information on how California’s gun laws compare to other states overall is available here. Read more about gun violence and police shootings here

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