Call Today for a FREE Consultation
Ball, Bonholtzer & Evans
Se Habla Español 626-817-6453

California may adjust standards for police use of force

After police officers shot and killed an unarmed 22-year-old man, Stephon Clark, activists and local politicians throughout the state have called for revisions to the California Peace Officer's Bill of Rights, or POBR. The POBR governs disciplinary action involving police officers.

State lawmakers have introduced two bills related to the use of officer force. SB 1421 would increase transparency of police records, opening officers' disciplinary records regarding dishonesty, sexual assault and use of force to the public and hiring agencies. AB 931 would tighten the standard for when officers may use deadly force.

When should officers use deadly force?

Under current California law, officers may use deadly force when they have a "reasonable fear." AB 931 would only allow officers to use deadly force when it is "necessary." Officers would be encouraged to de-escalate and could face discipline for reaching for a gun when it is found to be unnecessary.

In addition to determining how officers are held accountable for the use of deadly force, the proposed changes might have implications for victims of police violence and their families. If officers are found to have acted improperly, victims and their families could have more support for personal injury or wrongful death claims stemming from officer shootings.

An uphill battle for legislation

Despite a tremendous wave of support from activists and protestors, these bills are not without opposition. The Peace Officers Research Association of California and other powerful police unions have come out firmly against the bills, and state politicians may be hesitant to appear hostile to police interests.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • America's Top 100 Attorneys
  • Rated By SuperLawyers Stephen C. Ball 11 Years In A Row 2005-2016
  • American Board Of Trial Advocates
  • The National Top 100 Trial Lawyers Trial Lawyers
  • America's Top 100 High Stakes Litigators | 2017 | Top 100
  • The National Trial Lawyers |  Top 40 Under 40
  • The National Trial Lawyers |  Top 40 Under 40
  • Best Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Pasadena
Email Us For A Response

Contact Us For The Help You Need

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy


Ball, Bonholtzer & Evans
300 North Lake Avenue Suite 1100
Pasadena, CA 91101

Phone: 626-817-6453
Fax: 626-793-3198
Pasadena Law Office Map