Law \ Legal

Settlement Forces Officer Training On California Deadly Force Law

The Pomona Police Department must train its officers in compliance with a 2019 law that changed California’s requirements for the use of deadly force, Hannah Wiley reports for the Los Angeles Times. The training requirement is part of a recent settlement agreement stemming from an ACLU lawsuit against the Pomona Police Department for adopting both training materials and internal policies shaped by California police unions’ opposition to and general dismissal of the impact of the law. 

Assembly Bill 392 requires that police only use deadly force when “necessary in defense of human life,” upgrading California’s standard from “reasonable,” but amendments to the law excluded language defining exactly what “necessary” means. That ambiguity led to what the ACLU described as misinformation spreading to departments across the state that the law didn’t significantly change how police should approach deadly force at all. 

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