California has one of the highest rates of police violence in the country, and people of color are disproportionately the victims of violence at the hands of law enforcement. According to the Mapping Police Violence Project, of 1,072 people killed in California by police from 2013–2018, only three killings resulted in officers being held accountable.
So it’s no surprise that Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert refused to bring charges against two cops who shot and murdered Stephon Clark, unarmed and in his grandparent’s backyard, just a few feet from where his children slept. DA Schubert’s appalling decision to let the Sacrament officers walk free is only the latest example of how cops abuse the current standards for use of deadly force. Just last month, the Kern County DA ruled the shooting of 72-year old Francisco Serna in his driveway while holding a crucifix was lawful.
That’s got to change. Now.
We’d like you to join us in supporting a bill in the California Legislature: AB 392, the California Act to Save Lives, by Assemblymembers Shirley Weber of San Diego and Kevin McCarty of Sacramento. This bill would give families like the Clarks options to win some justice after they’ve had a loved one stolen from them.
The bill will also help prevent needless death and suffering by establishing statewide standards of training and conduct, so police will almost never have to resort to lethal violence. The bill is consistent with what California’s own Attorney General’s Office recommended to the City of Sacramento just last week after investigating Stephon Clark’s murder– better training, and higher standards.
If you live in California, you can help to make communities safer by calling your representative and asking them to support AB 392.
Ella Baker Center is not one of the sponsors that have worked so hard to make AB 392 happen, but we honor and support them. The sponsors of AB 392 are: The Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, ACLU of California, Anti Police-Terror Project, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ), PICO California, PolicyLink, and Youth Justice Coalition L.A.