The compromise between civil rights advocates and law enforcement

Early proposals to raise the legal standard for police to use deadly force set off a massive lobbying fight in California. Police groups argued that changing the legal standard would put officers’ lives at risk by forcing them to hesitate before firing their weapons and, perhaps, get shot first.

Lawmakers urged civil rights groups that backed the tougher standard to negotiate with law enforcement. In 2019, they eventually reached a compromise on AB 392 that contains wins for both sides.

This compromise won the support of the ACLU and several other civil rights groups, and caused major statewide law enforcement groups that had opposed the bill to go neutral. But the compromise didn’t please everyone. Black Lives Matter withdrew support for AB 392, saying it had become too weak. And several local law enforcement groups remain opposed.