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AB-931 Criminal procedure: use of force by peace officers.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 04/16/2018 12:43 PM
AB931:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  April 16, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 23, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 931


Introduced by Assembly Member Members Weber and McCarty
(Principal coauthors: Assembly Members Holden, Jones-Sawyer, and Mark Stone)
(Principal coauthors: Senators Bradford and Mitchell)

February 16, 2017


An act to amend Section 4098.3 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to suicide prevention. An act to amend Sections 196 and 835a of the Penal Code, relating to criminal procedure.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 931, as amended,  Weber. Suicide prevention. Criminal procedure: use of force by peace officers.
Existing law authorizes a peace officer to make an arrest pursuant to a warrant or based upon probable cause, as specified.
Under existing law, an arrest is made by the actual restraint of the person or by submission to the custody of the arresting officer.
Existing law authorizes a peace officer to use reasonable force to effect the arrest, to prevent escape, or to overcome resistance. Existing law does not require an officer to retreat or desist from an attempt to make an arrest because of resistance or threatened resistance of the person being arrested.
Under existing law, the use of deadly force resulting in the death of a person is justified when it was necessarily committed in overcoming actual resistance to an arrest, when it was necessarily committed in apprehending a felon who had escaped from custody, or when it was necessarily committed in arresting a person charged with a felony and who was fleeing from justice or resisting arrest.
Existing case law prohibits the use of deadly force by a peace officer unless, among other criteria, there is a reasonable fear of death or serious bodily harm to the officer or another.
This bill would limit the use of deadly force, as defined, by a peace officer to those situations where it is necessary to prevent imminent and serious bodily injury or death to the officer or to a third party, as specified. The bill would prohibit the use of deadly force by a peace officer in a situation where an individual poses a risk only to himself or herself. The bill would also limit the use of deadly force by a peace officer against a person fleeing from arrest or imprisonment to only those situations in which the officer has probable cause to believe that the person has committed, or intends to commit, a felony involving serious bodily injury or death, and there is an imminent risk of serious bodily injury or death to the officer or to another person if the subject is not immediately apprehended.
This bill would make a homicide committed by a peace officer justifiable only if the use of deadly force by a peace officer was necessary given the totality of the circumstances, as specified, but would exclude those situations in which the gross negligence of the officer contributes to creating the necessity.
This bill would make legislative declarations regarding its provisions.

Existing law, the California Suicide Prevention Act of 2000, authorizes the State Department of Health Care Services to establish and implement a suicide prevention, education, and gatekeeper program to reduce the severity, duration, and incidence of suicidal behaviors. Existing law authorizes the department to contract with an outside agency to establish and implement a targeted public awareness and education campaign on suicide prevention and treatment. Existing law requires the target populations to include junior high and high school students.

This bill would additionally require the target populations to include community college, 4-year college, and university undergraduate and graduate students.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YESNO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 196 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

196.
 Homicide is justifiable when committed by public officers and those acting by their command in their aid and assistance, either— as follows:

1.

(a) In obedience to any judgment of a competent Court; or, court.

2.

(b) When necessarily committed in overcoming actual resistance necessary given the totality of the circumstances, pursuant to the execution subdivision (d) of some legal process, or in the discharge of any other legal duty; or, Section 835a, unless committed by a public officer whose gross negligence substantially contributed to making it necessary.

3.When necessarily committed in retaking felons who have been rescued or have escaped, or when necessarily committed in arresting persons charged with felony, and who are fleeing from justice or resisting such arrest.

SEC. 2.

 Section 835a of the Penal Code is amended to read:

835a.
 (a) The Legislature finds and declares that the authority to use physical force, conferred on peace officers by this section, is a serious responsibility that must be exercised judiciously and with respect for human rights and dignity and for the sanctity of every human life. The Legislature further finds and declares that every person has a right to be free from excessive force by officers acting under color of law.
(b)  Any peace officer who has reasonable cause to believe that the person to be arrested has committed a public offense may use reasonable force to effect the arrest, to prevent escape escape, or to overcome resistance.
(c)  A peace officer who makes or attempts to make an arrest need not retreat or desist from his efforts by reason of the resistance or threatened resistance of the person being arrested; nor shall such officer not be deemed an aggressor or lose his or her right to self-defense by the use of reasonable force to effect the arrest or arrest, to prevent escape escape, or to overcome resistance.
(d) (1) Notwithstanding any other law, a peace officer may use deadly force only when such force is necessary to prevent imminent and serious bodily injury or death to the officer or to a third party.
(2) A peace officer shall not use deadly force against an individual based on the danger that individual poses to himself or herself, if the individual does not pose an imminent threat of serious bodily injury or death to officers or to other members of the public.
(3) A peace officer may use deadly force against persons fleeing from arrest or imprisonment only when the officer has probable cause to believe that the person has committed, or intends to commit, a felony involving serious bodily injury or death, and there is an imminent risk of serious bodily injury or death to the officer or to another person if the subject is not immediately apprehended.
(4) For the purposes of this subdivision:
(A) “Necessary” means that, given the totality of the circumstances, a reasonable peace officer would conclude that there was no reasonable alternative to the use of deadly force that would prevent imminent death or serious bodily injury to the peace officer or to a third party. Reasonable alternatives include, but are not limited to, deescalation, tactics set forth in the officer’s training or in policy, and other reasonable means of apprehending the subject or reducing the exposure to the threat.
(B) The “totality of the circumstances” includes, but is not limited to, the facts available to the peace officer at the time, the conduct of the subject and the officer leading up to the use of deadly force, and whether the officer’s conduct was consistent with applicable training and policy.
(C) “Deescalation” means taking action or communicating verbally or nonverbally during a potential force encounter in an attempt to stabilize the situation and reduce the immediacy of the threat so that more time, options, and resources can be called upon to resolve the situation without the use of force or with a reduction of the force necessary. Deescalation tactics include, but are not limited to, warnings, verbal persuasion, and tactical repositioning.

SECTION 1.Section 4098.3 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:
4098.3.

The department may contract with an outside agency to establish and implement a targeted public awareness and education campaign on suicide prevention and treatment. Target populations shall include junior high and high school students, community college, four-year college, and university undergraduate and graduate students, as well as other selected populations known to be at high risk of suicide.