The issue of police violence and police accountability is urgent. One recent study indicates that a Black person is shot by a police officer every 28 hours in this country. Prosecutions are extremely rare and convictions rarer still with thousands of civilians killed, according to a Washington Post analysis released earlier last week.
While most police officers truly want to serve and protect, there exists a significant minority who as a result of outright bigotry, poor training, or unconsciously held fears of Black and Brown men, shoot and kill people without just cause. If officers feel they will never be investigated by a neutral arbiter and that they will never be prosecuted for shooting men of color, they will not be as careful as they should be when discharging a weapon.
Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (Sacramento) has introduced AB 86, legislation that would require the Attorney General to direct the commencement of an independent investigation by the Department of Justice if a peace officer, in the performance of his or her duties, uses deadly physical force upon another person and that person dies as a result of the use of that deadly physical force.
The Sacramento Bee says: State lawmakers should give it strong consideration and resist the pressure to quash it before the idea gets a real airing.”
EJS is one of dozens of organizations and individuals working to create a law that would help save Black and Brown lives by preventing AB 86 from losing its teeth.
We recently joined our allies in a letter informing AB 86’s author, Assemblymember McCarty, that we would not be able to support the bill unless critical amendments were made to the measure.