The California chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both a part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statement after California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law three critical police accountability bills that will help address the disproportionate toll of police violence on marginalized communities in California and a bill that will improve public safety by bolstering the gun violence restraining order process:
“Police violence continues to take a disproportionate toll on California’s Black and Latino communities, and it’s past time we did more to prevent it,” said Krystal LoPilato, a volunteer with the California chapter of Moms Demand Action. “The bills Gov. Newsom signed will promote gun safety, help increase community trust in law enforcement and make the state a safer place for all Californians. We applaud the lawmakers and community groups who have been pushing these reforms for years and we’re grateful to Gov Newsom for signing them into law.”
Assembly Bill 1196 will prohibit a law enforcement agency from authorizing the use of chokeholds and other techniques that involve a substantial risk of asphyxia.
Assembly Bill 1185 will authorize a county to establish a sheriff oversight board. The chair of the board will have subpoena power to investigate matters within their jurisdiction.
Assembly Bill 1506 will 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 will 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 184 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.