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California Police Chiefs Reject Proposed Legislation That Would Limit Use Of Deadly Force

Assembly Bill 931 would restrict officers from using deadly force unless "absolultely necessary."

California legislators have announced a new bill that could change that could "prevent unnecessary loss of life." Assembly Bill 931, which is proposed by Democratic State Assembly members Kevin McCarty and Shirley Weber, and backed by the American Civil Liberties Union, would restrict officers from using deadly force unless there is “no other reasonable alternative.”

The bill, which was formally introduced by Weber an McCarty last week alongside the family of Stephon Clark the 22-year-old unarmed father gunned down by Sacramento Police officers in his grandmother's backyard, is being met with swift backlash from law enforcement.

In a statement to Bay Area news station KTVU, Webber revealed that an analysis of nearly 100 of the “largest police departments found that departments that used restricted use of force and de-escalation and other less-lethal tactics, save not only civilian lives, but also saves the lives of police officers."

During a meeting at the Fairfield Police training facility on Tuesday (April 10), Morgan Hill Police Chief David Swing joined other police chiefs in lambasting the bill.

"This legislation as proposed puts communities at risk,” said Swing, who is also president of the California Police Chief Association. “Evaluating the use of deadly force from the perspective of hindsight and narrowly justifiable homicide defense would lead to officers pulling back on proactive policing.”

Watsonville Police Chief David Honda said that the bill attempts to hold officers to an “unreasonable standard that measures in hindsight” and could “only hurt the communities we serve.”

The current standard allows for officers to use "reasonable force," but as the ACLU point out that a number of white suspects, including domestic terrorists,  no matter how harsh the crime, are met with a different fate.  The glaring racial discrepancy shows a disproportionate targeting of people of color,  specifically black men and women, many of whom were weaponless and did not commit a crime upon being gunned down by police.

“The killings of people like Stephon Clark in Sacramento, and far too many others, have laid bare a painful truth: our laws protect the police, not the people — and especially not people of color,” writes the ACLU.

“What’s more, California is one of the most secretive states in the country when it comes to releasing basic information about how departments investigate these killings and confirmed police misconduct.”

According to a running tally by the Washington Post, there have been just over 300 fatal police involved shootings in 2018. California also boasts some of the nation’s largest rates of police killings in the nation. Lawmakers said that half of the 162 people who were shot and killed by cops last year did not have guns, with Kern County officers holding the record for killing “more people per capita than in any other county in the U.S.”

Last Monday (April 9), the Kern County Detention Officers Association brought attention to what it says is a  "sheriff's office in desperate need of positive changes" by releasing a 12-year-old video of current Kern County Sheriff Danny Youngblood recorded during the year  that he was elected. In the footage, Youngblood can be heard answering a question about whether he thinks it’s more cost-effective for the sheriff’s department to “kill” or wound suspects. Youngblood chose the latter explaining, "Because if you cripple them you gotta' take care of them for life, and that cost goes way up."

Reacting to the video release, Youngblood said that he wishes that he would’ve used different wording, but that his comments were taken out of context, according to CNN. “When you listen to the verbiage, it doesn't sound good. But I think the people of this county know that's not what I mean,” he said.

In a message on Facebook posted alongside the 2006 video of Youngblood, the KCDA noted that it's time to elect a new sheriff who will bring a  "fresh approach and new ideas to tackle long standing issues facing department administration."

See footage of the interview below.

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Oscar Grant's Family Advocates To Have Fruitvale Station Named After Him

Nearly 10 years to the day of his passing, Oscar Grant III's family is aiming to build a tangible legacy in his honor. A request to rename Fruitvale Station in Oakland, Calif., the location where Grant was fatally shot by a police officer on Jan. 1, 2009, has been made. At 22, Grant was killed by a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) officer while he was handcuffed and face down on the train's platform. The officers were responding to a fight on a crowded train and apprehended Grant and other riders.

“It would be an atonement, it would be part of BART saying yes this happened here, we vow that it won’t happen again and we vow to work with the communities and ensure that all people are treated equally,” Wanda Johnson, Grant's mother, said.

According to KGO-TV, BART officials have declared the family's plea unlikely, not based upon the reason of the request, but rather that BART policy requires all stations' names to align with its geographical position. The Oakland transit system will instead install a mural honoring the late father. Currently, in the planning stages, the family also requested a side street at Fruitvale be named after their fallen family member.

Killed in the blink of an eye, Grant's case made him one of the many faces of police brutality. Cellphone cameras caught officers handcuff an unarmed Grant, who was later shot in the back. He died shortly after in a California hospital.

READ MORE: 'Fruitvale Station': Michael B. Jordan On the Many Layers of Oscar Grant 

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Study Shows Gun Violence Cuts African Americans Life Expectancy By Four Years Or More

Gun violence has seeped into the American culture sinking its claws into everyday life. With 53,492 shooting occurring in 2018, the result was more than 13,700 gun-related deaths, reported by the Gun Violence Archive.  A new study led by a professor at Boston University has found that the life expectancy of African-Americans has lowered by more than 4-years due to gun violence.

Based on federal data collected between 2000 and 2016, the research concluded black Americans died more frequently due to homicide among younger ages, although white American gun deaths are linked more so toward suicide amid older folks.

Published Dec. 4 in the BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine journal."Our study using cumulative data from 2000 to 2016 demonstrates a total firearm life expectancy loss of 905.2 days, which is nine times greater than observed in 2000, indicating increasing life expectancy loss by year," wrote Bindu Kalesan, the lead author of the investigation.

Furthering the discussion surrounding firearm injury, Kalesan inferred that gun-related injury causes American's to "lose substantial years." A common misconception surrounding shooting victims, only 30% of people struck by bullets die. However, the trauma endured is now linked to the shortened life expectancy.

One of the studies calculated in the 2000s, "concluded that shootings reduced the average American lifespan by about 100 days, with a significant gap between black and white men: Black men lost 361.5 days, while white men lost 150.7 days," wrote Nick Wing, a journalist at Huffington Post.

Two hundred and eleven days in difference, this study is a clear indication of the racial gap plaguing people-of-color in relation to the inherent violence suffered through life. Gun policy, a clear stain on the American fabric, has become a growing issue, claiming lives by the tens-of-thousands with no clear sign of slowing down. The research illustrates the growing issues within the black community, because not only are we being attacked from all sides, we engage in friendly fire.

READ MORE: Girl Who Penned Essay On Gun Violence Killed By Stray Bullet

 

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NYPD Officers Caught Strenuously Pulling One-Year-Old Out Of Mother's Arms

UPDATE 12/12/2018 11:30 a.m. EST:

According to Vox, all charges against Jazmine Headley will be dropped as mandated by Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez. Additionally, the 23-year-old will be released from jail, according to her attorneys. While she still faces charges of credit card fraud, her attorneys are planning to get that dismissed as well. ~ Richy Rosario

Read the original story below.

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The New York Police Department (NYPD) has found itself in hot water after a video of officers using excessive force to remove a one-year-old from his mother's arms went viral.

Initiated by a verbal dispute with a security guard, a woman identified as Jazmine Headley was sitting on the floor with her son because there were no available seats in her local Brooklyn food stamp office. After being reprimanded by an employee in the benefits office for allegedly blocking the hallway, the cops were called on the 23-year-old.

Headley remained on the floor in the upright position until the officers began to pull at her baby, rushing to arrest and separate her from her child. Hands clasped tight around her child, the mother did her best to keep control of her son, until officers started pulling at the boy as if his limbs were made of rubber.

“They’re hurting my son," she repeatedly screamed while being attacked by four members of the force. Enraged bystanders witnessing the excessive encounter tossed comments about the happenings. After apprehending the baby, and securing Headley, one policeman reached for their yellow stun gun, threatening partons in the office according to The New York Times.

Headley is currently detained in Rikers Island, while the boy, Damone, remains in his grandmother's custody. As a source of advocation for the young mother, Cynthia Nixon, former Sex And The City actress and current day New York City politician, spoke out against the NYPD fiasco.

#JazmineHeadley should not have been arrested, should not have had her child torn from her, should not be sitting in Rikers now https://t.co/yyX0ZuxFhu

— Cynthia Nixon (@CynthiaNixon) December 10, 2018

READ MORE: NYPD Sergeant Acquitted Of Charges For The Death Of Deborah Danner

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