50 signatures reached
To: California Legislators
Don't Shoot! Advocating for the passage of AB-89
In a country devastated by the deaths and injuries of hundreds of people, many of them unarmed, at the hands of police officers, drastic changes are needed in our approach to public safety.
Deaths of individuals such as George Floyd, Michael Brown and Eric Garner, there has been widespread resolve to decrease the amount of police violence and brutality in our country. Mounting evidence shows that deaths at the hands of the police disproportionately impact people of certain races and ethnicities, pointing to systemic racism in policing.
While most use-of-force incidents are not considered misconduct, civilian fatalities and injuries, particularly of unarmed individuals, can nevertheless harm the public’s trust in law enforcement.
Why is this important?
Black Californians are about three times more likely to be seriously injured, shot, or killed by the police relative to their share of the state’s population (Public Policy Institute of California, October 2021).
California has already implemented many reforms through state legislation, including requiring local law enforcement agencies to report incidents of serious use of force, permitting public access to law enforcement records for certain misconduct and use-of-force incidents, and establishing an independent board and data collection effort aimed at reducing racial disparities in police encounters (Public Policy Institute of California, October 2021).
Although these efforts may be valiant, there is still room for continued change in decreasing the amount of deaths due to excessive force and police brutality.
Through the passage of Assembly-Bill 89, California police officers will be required to be trained at a state standard. Along with this, officers will be required to obtain either an associates or a bachelors degree. These changes will allow police officers across the state to be held to a higher standard and training program as well as increasing education has shown that it can decrease excessive use of force.