AB 931 Support Letter Sample

Instructions to send a letter of support

1) Cut and paste the content below the line to your letterhead

2) Adapt and add your own story if you have one

3) SEND:

  • Sign, Scan and send a PDF to AnthonyDiMartino@Asm.CA.Gov

           OR 

  • Sign and Fax to:916-319-2179

           OR

  • Sign and mail to:

              The Honorable Shirley Weber

              Member, California State Assembly

              State Capitol, Room 3123

              Sacramento, CA 95814

            ATTN: Anthony Dimartino

 

 

SAMPLE LETTER BELOW

_____________________________________________________________________________________  

PLEASE ADD YOUR LETTERHEAD 

DATE, 2018

 

The Honorable Shirley Weber

Member, California State Assembly

State Capitol, Room 3123

Sacramento, CA 95814

 

RE:    AB 931 (Weber) — Support

 

Dear Assemblymember Weber:

 

[YOUR ORGANIZATION] is pleased to support your AB 931, which will protect community members by allowing law enforcement to use deadly force only when it is necessary to prevent imminent death or serious bodily injury.

 

[OPTIONAL: INSERT BRIEF STATEMENT ABOUT WHY YOUR ORGANIZATION SUPPORTS AB 931 AND/OR HOW IT WILL IMPACT YOUR MEMBERS. IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO INCLUDE A STATEMENT, PLEASE DELETE THIS PARAGRAPH.]

 

California needs to change the rules for when police can use deadly force. Under current law, police can use deadly force whenever an “objectively reasonable” officer would have done so under the same circumstances, whether or not there was an immediate threat to life or bodily security, or whether there were available alternatives.[1] As a result, current law authorizes police to kill when it is not necessary, widening the rift between grieving communities – particularly communities of color – and the law enforcement agencies that are supposed to protect them.

 

In line with recommendations from policing and legal experts,[2] AB 931 changes California law so that police can use deadly force only when necessary, and requires them to use tactics to de-escalate a situation or use alternatives to deadly force where reasonable. Changing this standard will mean that officers will be trained to use deadly force less often, and it will be easier to hold officers accountable when they shoot and kill unnecessarily.

 

The harm from police killings extends beyond the lives lost and impacts all involved. Police shootings cause extraordinary trauma for the families and communities impacted – trauma that disproportionately impacts communities of color. Studies show that police departments with more restrictive use of force policies not only have fewer shootings by police, but also lower rates of assaults against officers and lower crime rates.[3] One of the Legislature’s primary goals is to protect public safety, and safeguarding Californians’ right to be safe from unnecessary deaths by law enforcement is a critical step in that direction. [YOUR ORGANIZATION] strongly supports the enactment of AB 931.

 

Sincerely,

 

[Signature]

 

[Typed Name]

 

[1] See Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386 (1989).

[2] See, e.g., Police Executive Research Forum, Use of Force: Taking Policing to a Higher Standard, 30 Guiding Principles (Jan. 29, 2016); Police Executive Research Forum, An Integrated Approach to De-Escalation and Minimizing Use of Force (Aug. 2012); American Law Institute, Principles of Policing, Draft on Use of Force (2016).

[3] Sinyangwe, S., Examining the Role of Use of Force Policies in Ending Police Violence, Campaign Zero (2016).