Tuesday, November 12, 2019

POST Issues New Video Providing Guidance AB 392 and Peace Officer Use of Force Standards

The Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training ("POST") recently posted its legal analysis of A.B. 392 and its impacts on peace officer use of force standards.  The website inlcudes a link to a video available to the general public about use of force standards.  In the video, the Executive Director of POST Manuel Alvarez Jr., Riverside District Attorney Micahel Hestrin, and Santa Barbara District Attorney Joyce Dudley provide their insights and interpretations of A.B. 392, as well as a discuss of how they will apply the new law.

Any analysis of California's use of force standards should also include S.B. 230 which was Sponsored by PORAC and other law enforcment stakeholders. In addition to mandating minmum use of force standards and training, SB 230 also codifies important legal definitions that directly affect the application of A.B. 392, which utilizes the same terms (S.B. 230 was expressed coupled to the passage of A.B. 392.).  For example, “Feasible” is defined as "reasonably capable of being done or carried out under the circumstances to successfully achieve the arrest or lawful objective without increasing risk to the officer or another person." (emphasis added.)  This definition clarifies that tactics increasing the risk to officers are not "feasible."  The law also clarifies that policies and training shall not be considered as imposing a legal duty on officers to act in accordance with such policies and training.  Tellingly, the ACLU vigorously opposed S.B. 230.

WATCH the ACLU's objections to S.B. 230 here.

The Mastagni Holstedt, APC analysis of the use of force legislation is available here:Modernizing Use of Force on Our Terms.