Opinion

Actions of the California State Lawmakers are Loud and Clear: They Hate the Police

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Posted: Sep 10, 2019 12:57 PM
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Actions of the California State Lawmakers are Loud and Clear: They Hate the Police

Source: AP Photo/Matt Rourke

With the recent passage of two anti-cop pieces of legislation, lawmakers in California proved their utter contempt for the men and women who risk their lives to protect and serve in the Golden State. 

Cop-hating California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law AB 392, placing even more restrictions on when an officer can use deadly force unless it is “necessary.” It’s as if there are already not enough restrictions codified in law. The standard previously was that of “reasonable” fear of imminent danger to themselves or others, just like currently held in Supreme Court decisions on use of force by officers. So what’s the difference? I can make the case that what’s reasonable is necessary and what is necessary is reasonable. The difference is the cop-haters now make it more likely that innocent officers will be charged by politically motivated prosecutors with murder and obliterates the beyond a reasonable doubt standard that juries need to convict them. Forget evidence, officer and witness testimony, probable cause, and grand juries as the legal standards in due process--that’s not going to lock up innocent cops. The ACLU wants more officer convictions and this will do the job. This is not justice—it’s called revenge.

A Washington Post study showed in 2015, 990 people were killed by police use of force in legal interventions. Based on the U.S. population of about 321 million, this means that only 0.00031% of the U.S. population died from police use of force in 2015. It also means that if California used empirical data and research, it would have shown them that this law is nothing more than a knee-jerk reaction based on emotion to appease cop-haters rather to address an epidemic of police use of force that does not exist. 

Furthermore, the Supreme Court, the law of the land, has already established the standard of when an officer can use force. It’s called “objective reasonableness.” In an emotionless land mark decision of Graham v. Conners the court held that, “The reasonableness of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a “reasonable” officer on the scene, rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight.” That to me would also mean not the second-guessing group of cop-hating liberal politicians in the California State legislature. Apparently, they think they are smarter than the jurists who sit on the Supreme Court. The Court also said that, “the subjective beliefs of the actual officer whether they are good or bad are not relevant.” In other words if an officer reasonably believes in real time that an object in the hand of a perpetrator could be used to harm them and it later on mistakenly turns out to be a cell phone for instance, that is “not relevant.”

The California legislature encourages law enforcement to train and use de-escalation techniques like verbal persuasion when necessary. These amateurs, unlike the Court in Graham v. Conner don’t realize that cops make use of force decisions in circumstances that the Court held are “tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving.” Cops in many deadly-force encounters don’t have time to sit down over a cup of coffee with perpetrators and come to some mutually agreed upon resolution. It’s literally a matter of life or death decision that happens in split seconds. 

This law is a slap in the face to officers who at any time and on any assignment or activity, face the threat of being killed by an assailant. Often there is no warning by the assailant. Having cops standing there second-guessing themselves will result in more officers murdered.  In 2018, 144 officers nationally were killed in the line of duty. Texas, Florida, New York, and yes, California, were the leading states with officer deaths. Fifty-two of the 144 officers nationally were killed by firearms. The 52 firearms-related deaths were a 13 percent increase over 2017. Fourteen of those occurred while the officer was trying to place the suspect under arrest. Nearly two-thirds were shot and killed by a handgun; four officers were fatally shot by their own weapons after being disarmed. Remember Mike Brown attempting to disarm Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri?

To make matters worse, the California legislature also repealed a law that punished, “any able-bodied person 18 years of age or older for refusing a police officer's request in helping to make an arrest, retaking into custody a person who has escaped from arrest or imprisonment, or preventing a breach of the peace or the commission of a crime.” The law was called outdated. One Democrat state senator said the law belongs in the history books, not the law books. Oh, that’s nice. So now if a cop needs help and is getting overwhelmed by a criminal let’s say it’s a female officer being overwhelmed and pummeled by a male suspect, California residents can stand by and watch it happen, and if the cop asks for help, they can tell him or her the law is clear: their safety and life doesn't matter. 

Who the hell would want to be a cop in California today? The liberal politicians' disdain for police is unconscionable and unfathomable. On the campaign trail recently, Senator Kamala Harris, once a tough on crime California Attorney General police supporter, agreed with the editor at large of Salon, D. Watkins, when he said that police officers, "just harass and take up space in poor communities." I wouldn’t even want to be a law-abiding resident of California knowing how much the Democrat political class despises the police. 

Good luck, California, trying to replace officers who retire or resign. Retention and recruitment problems will follow. Mark my words. 

The California liberals have spun out of control. At what cost? More dead cops. To say that California is going to hell in a hand basket is an understatement.