Updated 6:14 p.m.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a measure linked to California’s new police use of force law. It sets statewide “best practices” and training for law enforcement.
Democratic Sen. Anna Caballero’s bill, SB 230, is one of two measures that arose in response to last year’s Sacramento police shooting of Stephon Clark. It follows the law signed last month that raises the legal standard for when police can use deadly force from “reasonable” to “necessary.”
Caballero (D-Salinas) says her bill will “change the culture and give the police an opportunity to receive training that will help them to perform their duties in a way that protects them and protects the public as well.”
The training is funded in the state budget Newsom signed in June.
It will include de-escalation techniques such as distance, time and place restrictions on when deadly force can be used. It will also include training on implicit and explicit bias, and how officers should work with mentally ill people.
In addition, Caballero’s measure requires officers to intervene if another officer is using excessive force and report it to a supervisor, who would then be required to investigate.
Newsom quietly signed the bill Thursday in a private ceremony in his office — in stark contrast to the splashy, public signing ceremony he held last month for the use of force measure backed by civil liberties groups and community activists, AB 392 by Asm. Shirley Weber (D-San Diego).
The two bills began as rivals after negotiations between Weber and law enforcement groups broke down earlier this year. But each measure evolved in the months that followed, and a deal in May set them both on track to becoming law.
In a statement, the governor said Caballero’s bill “establishes the nation’s most robust state-level use-of-force training guidelines for law enforcement officers that focus on de-escalation, crisis intervention, bias free policing, and only using deadly force when absolutely necessary.”
In other news from the state Capitol Thursday, the Legislature’s penultimate day of session this year:
- California lawmakers have sent Newsom a bill that would temporarily prohibit law enforcement from using facial recognition software with officer-worn body cameras. The measure barely eked through its final vote in the Assembly along party lines amid strong opposition from law enforcement groups.
- The Assembly narrowly passed a measure to eliminate the automatic addition of prison time to the sentences of some repeat offenders. Supporters said the proposal would help address mass incarcerations and would not apply to offenders who commit serious violent crimes, like rape, robbery or domestic abuse. Opponents argued the added time, known as a sentence enhancement, is a vital tool for deterring repeat offenders. The bill still needs a final vote in the Senate before advancing to Newsom’s desk.
- Nearly every piece of vaping legislation stalled this year, despite a mysterious lung illness tied to vaping that’s affected hundreds nationwide and killed at least six, including one California resident. Two measures to ban flavored tobacco were shelved earlier this year. And in recent days, an industry-backed proposal to place restrictions on stores that sell vaping products also stalled.