Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Friday, April 19, 2019

READ NOW: The Sacramento Bee Publishes Compelling Personal Account On How AB 392 Will Endanger The Lives of Police Officers

Wednesday, the Sacramento Bee published a gut-wrenching special by Julie Robertson,  a Sacramento County Sheriff's Deputy who survived a "split-second" encounter in which she was shot and her partner was killed. It is a must read to understand why AB 392 must be opposed.

The entire story can be read here: 

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Read PORAC Law Enforcement News: "Modernizing Use of Force on Our Terms" by David E. Mastagni

The April 2019 edition of the PORAC Law Enforcement News published David E. Mastagni's article explaining why A.B. 392 is a threat to safe communities and would unconstitutionally impair peace officers' right of self-defense and defense of others.  The article titled, "Modernizing Use of Force on Our Terms" details how the ACLU's strident desire to criminalize law enforcement derailed discussions over consensus legislation and prompted law enforcement leaders to sponsor S.B. 230 to bring California police standards and training into the 21st century.

Friday, April 12, 2019

California Law Enforcement and SB 230 Author Senator Anna Caballero Announce Major Amendments to California Use of Force Bill

Precedent-Setting Legislation Reflects Input from Attorney General, Community Leaders
Sacramento, CA – California law enforcement and Senator Anna Caballero (D – Salinas) yesterday announced sweeping amendments to SB 230 – the California use of force bill that will set a national precedent by requiring consistent policies and mandatory training standards for all 500 California law enforcement agencies.

“California has an opportunity and an obligation to protect our families, officers and communities,” said Senator Caballero. “Collaboration is key to developing the most effective and comprehensive use of force policy that results in change. These amendments reflect input and feedback from impacted parties throughout the state. As a result, this legislation will truly set an example the rest of the nation can follow.”


"AB 392 is a deeply flawed and unconstitutional bill. SB 230 will help achieve better outcomes for everybody by providing officers clear guidelines and training on deescalation and alternative tactics," said David E. Mastagni.

The new amendments to the bill have been in the works for some time now, as the bill’s author and supporters have been working with the Attorney General, legislators and community leaders from throughout the state to implement the feedback they have received. With these amendments, SB 230 now:
Establishes the first statewide guidelines to clearly define when officers are authorized to use force.
Requires that every California law enforcement officer receive the most robust training in the nation strictly designed to minimize the use of force.
Sets specific policy requirements on de-escalation, rendering medical aid, proportional use of force and more. 
Sets forth detailed, standardized requirements for reporting all instances when force is used in our communities.
Specifies that use of force policies and training are considered in legal proceedings.
Strengthens the California Penal Code’s definition of justifiable homicide for peace officers.

Law enforcement leaders throughout the state expressed strong support for S.B. 230 as amended. 

“SB 230 will establish the nation’s most comprehensive legislative solution to one of the most important issues facing America,” said Brian Marvel, President of the Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC). “As law enforcement officers, we know we can improve – we need to do everything in our power to minimize the use of force. The country is watching. They are counting on California to lead.”

“These substantive amendments are a testament to California law enforcement’s commitment to achieving meaningful change through collaboration,” said Ron Lawrence, President of the California Police Chiefs Association (CPCA). “We surveyed all of the proven best practices from around the country and incorporated them into one piece of legislation that will modernize and update California’s use of force policies.”

“California’s use of force policies must be updated, not only to reflect best practices, but to reflect our shared knowledge and expectations for what it means to enforce the law in our communities,” said Carrie Lane, CEO of the California Association of Highway Patrolmen (CAHP). “SB 230 is a bill we can all get behind.”

Thursday, April 11, 2019

David P. Mastagni Commended for 45 years Devotion to Public Safety Professionals

March 30th, 2019 Assembly Member Honorable Jim Cooper of the 9th District introduced a resolution to the legislature to commend David P. Mastagni and the Mastagni Holstedt Law Firm for 45 years of service and devotion to protecting the rights of public safety professionals including Law Enforcement, Firefighters, and First Responders throughout the State of California.

Click Here to View Full Size Document

California Globe Article on AB 392 Featuring Kathleen Mastagni Storm Taking the Fight to Them

The California Globe highlights Kathleen Mastagni Storm's testimony on AB 392 in the article linked below:

Police Use of Force Bill is ‘Epitome of Second Guessing’ by Lawmakers

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

WATCH NOW: Kathleen Mastagni Storm Testifies Before the California Assembly Public Safety Committee In Opposition to AB 392

Today, in powerful testimony before the Public Safety Committee, Kathleen Mastagni Storm urged members of the committee to vote no on AB 392. As outlined in her testimony, AB 392 would criminalize police use of force and incentivize disengagement through prosecution of officers.

Below, watch the opposition tesimony of Shane LaVigne of Capitol Advocacy, Deputy Sheriff Julie Robertson, and Kathleen Mastagni Storm.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

New 2nd Amendment Ruling Invoking Right of Self-Defense Illustrates Unconstitutionality of AB 392

On March 29, 2019, federal Judge Roger Benitez issued a permanent injunction invalidating a California law (Penal Code Section 32310) mandating the confiscation of high capacity magazines, i.e. magazines holding more than 10 rounds.  The broader ramifications of Judge Benitez' ruling spotlight the unconstitutionality of A.B. 392 in severely restricting peace officer self-defense rights, as well as violating equal protection by subjecting officers to second class constitutional rights.

Following U.S. Supreme Court precedent, the Ninth Circuit has already recognized, “Central to the rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment is “the inherent right of self-defense.”  United States v. Torres (9th Cir. 2019) 911 F.3d 1253, 1257 (citing, District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 628, 128 S.Ct. 2783, 171 L.Ed.2d 637 (2008).  The Ninth Circuit recognized, the “core” of the Second Amendment right “is the right of self-defense by ‘law-abiding, responsible citizens.’” Id.  

In holding the magazine ban violated the Constitutional right to “keep and bear arms”, Judge Benitez explained our inherent right of self-defense under the U.S. Constitution and that "for laws that do impair self-defense, strict scrutiny" is applicable.  "A law that imposes such a severe restriction on the fundamental right of self-defense of the home that it amounts to a destruction of the Second Amendment right is unconstitutional under any level of scrutiny." Duncan v. Becerra (S.D. Cal., Mar. 29, 2019, No. 3:17CV1017-BEN (JLB)) 2019 WL 1434588, at *10 (citing, Silvester v. Harris, 843 F.3d 816, 821 (9th Cir. 2016)).

Judge Benitez ultimately concluded, “California’s law prohibiting acquisition and possession of magazines able to hold any more than 10 rounds places a severe restriction on the core right of self-defense of the home such that it amounts to a destruction of the right and is unconstitutional under any level of scrutiny.” A.B. 392 imposes far more severe impairments on officers' right of self-defense in several important respects.  First, if officers attempt to detain or arrest the wrong person by mistake, they are stripped of their right of self-defense if that person attempts to kill or injure the officer (under this scenario an otherwise justified use of deadly force constitutes manslaughter).  Officers are also stripped of their right not to retreat in the face of resistance or threat posed by a suspect to themselves or others. 

Most significantly, officers are subjected to a watered down right of self-defense by requiring them to utilize the least intrusive means of self-dense rather than objectively reasonable means based upon the totality of the circumstances.  Officers will be stripped of their right to self-defense and subject to criminal jeopardy any time a critic can conjure up an alternative to force.  For example, if a suspect three feet away draws and aims a handgun at an officer, it will take the officer about 1.5 seconds to perceive this threat, decide to draw his or her gun, and shoot at the suspect. Nearly everyone would agree the officer’s decision was an objectively reasonable use of deadly force. However, under A.B. 392 that officer’s right of self-defense would hinge on the “reasonableness” of the officer’s alternatives, such as the use of a gun take-away technique or quickly advancing on the suspect and knocking him off balance and taking him to the ground. 

Our Ninth Circuit has already rejected the premise of A.B. 392. "Requiring officers to find and choose the least intrusive alternative would require them to exercise superhuman judgment.” (Scott v. Henrich (9th Cir. 1994) 39 F.3d 912, 915.) The appellate court explained further:

“In the heat of battle with lives potentially in the balance, an officer would not be able to rely on training and common sense to decide what would best accomplish his mission. Instead, he would need to ascertain the least intrusive alternative (an inherently subjective determination) and choose that option and that option only. Imposing such a requirement would inevitably induce tentativeness by officers, and thus deter police from protecting the public and themselves. It would also entangle the courts in endless second-guessing of police decisions made under stress and subject to the exigencies of the moment.” Id.

This new Second Amendment case highlights the unconstitutionality of A.B. 392.  The last time the U.S. Supreme Court addressed the Second Amendment, it explained, "self-defense is a basic right, recognized by many legal systems from ancient times to the present, and the Heller Court held that individual self-defense is 'the central component' of the Second Amendment right." McDonald v. City of Chicago, Ill. (2010) 561 U.S. 742.  On the horizon, the U.S. Supreme Court recently granted review in a case involving a New York City law that limits residents from transporting their guns outside their homes and is widely expected to invalidate this law and further expand recognized self-defense rights outside the home.

It should also be noted that the California Constitution provides a similar, if not stronger, express right of self-defense in Article I, Section 1.  (see, People v. McDonnell (1917) 32 Cal.App. 694 (recognizing, that "[t]he right to defend life is one of the inalienable rights guaranteed by the constitution of the state.”)