SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The California chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statement applauding Governor Gavin Newsom for signing AB 392, legislation that establishes a modern use of force law that discourages lethal force by peace officers and encourages deescalation.
AB 392 was sponsored by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber and was co-sponsored by the Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, the American Civil Liberties Union of California, the Anti Police-Terror Project, California Families United 4 Justice, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice, Justice Teams Network, PICOCalifornia, PolicyLink, STOP Coalition and UDW America – AFSCME Local 3930. In total, nearly 200 groups, including Everytown and Moms Demand Action, supported the legislation. The legislation was introduced by Assemblywoman Weber after Stephon Clark, am unarmed Black man, was shot and killed by a police officer while in his grandmother’s backyard in 2018. Assemblywoman Weber reintroduced the legislation, AB 392, in 2019.
“We applaud Assemblywoman Weber and we are so thankful to all the families, including Stephon Clark’s loved ones, who have channeled their grief into action by fighting for this legislation,” said Samantha Dorf, volunteer leader with the California chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “The fatal shooting of Stephon Clark last year is just one example of how gun violence disproportionately affects communities of color. In California, Black people are three times more likely to be fatally shot by police than white people. This must stop. The conversation about gun violence is incomplete without conversations about police use of force. We thank Governor Newsom for once again proving his commitment to gun violence prevention.”
Police shootings can ripple through whole communities, eroding trust in law enforcement, and law enforcement must be part of the solution to this problem.
Research finds that meaningful use of force policies reduce police shootings, while having no negative impact on crime. By encouraging deescalation and ensuring that officers who act in a manner that is criminally negligent can be held accountable, AB 392 will ensure that California’s laws help advance safety and promote trust in the police.