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Police Use of Force Under a Microscope

South Bay police chiefs got a chance to weigh in on a new law Friday that would change when police are allowed to use deadly force.

Assemblyman Evan Low and other state leaders joined South Bay police chiefs and Sheriff Laurie Smith in simulated scenarios when a ‘deadly force’ decision has to be made.

The training, normally for cadets, was in response to a proposed law that allows ‘deadly force’ only as a final option, when there are no alternatives.

Currently, officers can use lethal force when facing a “reasonable or imminent threat.”

“Unless you’ve come in and done what these individuals are doing, it’s very difficult to see it from the lens of an officer,” said SJPD Police Chief Eddie Garcia.

Regardless of how the bill progresses, the legislators and police chiefs say they plan to continue reaching out to the community, including allowing some members to go through the simulations they went through Friday.

State Senator Jim Beall said that if passed, the proposed bill will mean big changes.

“An issue is the funding and consistency of all the training that would be required to change the statute,” said Beall. “We’re going to have to train all the officers if we change the law in use of force.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Source: NBC Bay Area

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