143 people were killed by police last year in California alone. In many of these cases, police did not attempt any method of de-escalation.
Only four states have laws that require police to use alternatives to deadly force whenever possible. But Campaign Zero is trying to change that with the Act to Save Lives.
The bill would change when and how police can use deadly force.
“What this bill would do is implement a new deadly force law that would require police to use-escalation, and to use alternatives to deadly force whenever possible,” explained Campaign Zero co-founder Samuel Sinyangwe.
Though the policy’s asks sound like they should already be the standard on police forces, that’s not the case in most states.
“When you look at the data provided by the California Department of Justice, it shows that in 84% of police shootings in the state, police didn’t even try another form of force before deciding to shoot somebody,” said Sinyangwe. “They shot first and asked questions later. That’s the current status quo, and that’s exactly what this bill would change.”
The bill passed the California Assembly and heads to the Senate with support from some Californians who lost family to police violence. To help support it, Sinyangwe suggests going to justiceforcalifornia.org, contacting you state legislator and encouraging them to help pass the measure.