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Amnesty International: California Short On Use Of Force Protections For Public


Amnesty International is calling for legislators to limit law enforcement's use of  force. The human rights organization is also calling on agencies to track such incidents.  

According to a new report by Amnesty International, California's laws regarding the use of force by police officers do not meet the standard set by federal law.

Justin Mazzola is an analyst with the human rights organization. He says the U.S. Supreme Court set the federal standard in 1985.  

"Under the Tennesse v. Garner decision, a person has to have committed a crime involving the infliction or threat of infliction of death or serious bodily injury or present a risk of death or serious bodily injury to the officer or others," says Mazzola.

Under California state law, officers may use  lethal force when ordered by a court, when overcoming resistance to the execution of a  legal process or duty, when arresting people charged with a felony and when capturing escaped felons.

The report also found all 50 states and the District of Colombia fail to meet international standards for use of force and for reporting those incidents.

Sacramento Police Chief Sam Somers says an increasing number of departments are tracking their data.

"We see that movement already happening," says Somers. "We track every one of our use of forces here in Sacramento. Every one of them goes through a thorough review. It's not like you just write a report, it goes in, and someone looks at it and says OK. It goes all the way up to management, everyone. Every time you do something, it goes into a system we call IA Pro - Internal Affairs Pro."

The Amnesty International report also says there is no single database that collects use-of-force data from all law enforcement agencies.

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