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Will defining lethal force decrease black and brown police shootings?

By California Black Media and ONME Newswire

FRESNO, CA--Gov. Gavin Newsom signed AB 392 into law. The legislation limits when law enforcement can use lethal force in California:

Could this have been a law that would have saved unarmed 16-year-old, Isiah Murrietta Golding, who was shot in the back of the head in 2017 while running from two police officers?

Maybe, if just two more years …

On Monday, protesters in Fresno, CA expressed their outrage of the police’s continual tactics to shoot first, then ask questions later, especially regarding the incident of teenager Murrietta Golding. The Murrietta Golding family attorney, Stuart Chandler, released footage to the public that displayed Murrietta Golding jumping the fence, taking a few steps, then falling to the ground after being shot, no weapons in his hands. Protestors have been infuriated with the Fresno Police Department’s portrayal of Murrietta Golding as a well-recognized criminal.

On April 15, 2017, officers stopped a car at a shopping center in which Murrietta Golding was the passenger, as they were considering Murrietta Golding a suspect in a murder one day earlier. The traffic-stop-turned-deadly shooting has protesters shocked that all three policing agencies; Fresno Police Department, the Internal Affairs Bureau, the Fresno County District Attorney's Office and the City of Fresno's Office of Independent Review, ruled the shooting justified.

Across the country, there have been a total of 4,510 police-involved fatal shootings within that same four-and-a-half-year period.

According to a Washington Post database tracking police killing of civilians since 2015, there have been a total of 661 police-involved shootings in California over the last 4 years.

Up until Aug 17, 2019, police officers have killed 570 people by deadly force across the country. In California, this year alone, there have been 79 deaths resulting from police officer shootings. Twelve of the those killed were Black Californians.

California has one of the highest rates of police shootings in the country. Citing numbers from 2013 to 2017, an advocacy group called Mapping Police Violence, ranked the Bakersfield Police Department the fifth deadliest in the United States. And The Guardian reported that Kern County had the "deadliest police force in the country" in 2015, a ranking determined by the Central Valley county’s high rate of officer-involved shootings per capita that year.



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