Data on the Use of Deadly Force by California Police

policeWith the recent killing by Sacramento, California police of 22-two-year old, Stephon Clark, who was unarmed in his grandparents’ backyard, the issue of deadly force has blasted into the nation’s headlines once again. Alarmingly, the number of citizens killed by police yearly in the United States is increasing. In 2016, the Sacramento Bee reported that 1,130 people were killed by police in California alone during the past decade. They go on to say that in California, “police officers killed someone, on average, about once every three days during the last decade.” 

The numbers could be even higher since arrest-related death data is voluntarily provided by police departments to the federal government. According to a recent report from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, these numbers are significantly underestimated and are likely to be much higher.

The United States Constitutions 4th Amendment explicitly prohibits use of police force against citizens that is excessive or unreasonable. Certainly, shooting or beating to death unarmed people, especially when other means of containment are available, is a violation of 4th Amendment protections.

Currently, California laws allow police officers to use deadly force when considered “reasonable.” However, in the wake of Clark’s death and in light of the increasing number of deaths caused by police, with a disproportionate number being unarmed African Americans, state legislators have introduced a measure that would allow officers to use deadly force “only when necessary,” thereby restricting use of lethal force. The legislation is supported by members of California’s Legislative Black Caucus, Black Lives Matter Sacramento, the NAACP, the Anti-Police Terror Project and would make California the nation’s first state to allow officers to shoot only when there is an immediate risk of death or serious bodily harm to the public or themselves.

“It’s clear that the current law protects the police, not the people,” said Lizzie Buchen, ACLU legislative advocate. “It allows officers to kill community members when they had other options or when they’re the ones who created the danger.”

While some proponents of the legislation cover an important distinction, some others think it won’t entirely solve the problem.

To prevent police from using unnecessary deadly force, Cat Brooks, co-founder of the California based Anti-Police Terror Challenge, is quoted on EXPOSENEWS as saying: “This legislation isn’t an end-all, be-all, but it’s an important step.”

While the job of a police officer is considered one of the most dangerous in the Country, nationwide in 2018, as of the date of this article, there were 17 firearms police fatalities while 233 people were killed by police during the same months. 2017 saw a 50-year low in police fatalities.

Talk to an Experienced Deadly Force Lawyer in Los Angeles

If a loved one has been killed because of deadly police by police, you and your family have endured a devastating loss. As you are grieving, you know there is no amount of money that will ease your sorrow. However, the police must and should be held accountable when they have violated the Constitution’s 4th Amendment’s prohibition of excessive and unreasonable force. You and your family may have a right to monetary compensation for your loved one’s unlawful death.

The V. James DeSimone attorneys have successfully represented the families of those who were victims of police misconduct or were killed when police unlawfully used deadly force against their loved one. As your family tries to comprehend the senselessness of such a death due to excessive force, our attorneys can compassionately take you through the process to acquire justice for such an egregious wrongdoing by police.

With our over 30 years’ experience investigating violations of civil rights by police and knowing the Code of Silence often used to deny police culpability, we have the skills and resources to involve forensic and police procedural experts to establish that the use of deadly force against your loved one was illegal. During the past over three decades, the law firm of V. James DeSimone has won multi-millions for our clients whose Constitutional and civil rights have been violated. Part of the team of Attorneys at V. James DeSimone Law is Carmen Sabater, a former New York Police Department Officer. Carmen was one of the good cops and she uses her experience and knowledge to help DeSimone Law prosecute police officer who unnecessarily use deadly and excessive force.

We sincerely want to help you and your family recover from your tragic loss and send a message to California’s police, that they can’t kill for no reason. At no cost to you, a V. James DeSimone attorney is available to review your loved one’s case. Upon collecting the details, we’ll advise you whether you may be entitled to financial recourse. If you should hire us, we won’t get paid unless we are successful with your claim.

Call 310.693.5561 today to speak with one of the attorneys at V. James DeSimone Law so Mr. DeSimone and his team can lead you through the process to justice and full and fair recovery.

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