I was thinking about Kamala Harris’ brazen careerism, as you do, and how I don’t think she’s a committed authoritarian. I think she just took a look at her choices and chose the most self-serving one. Obviously it was going to be better for her career to ignore the fact that between 16 and 24 Bay Area police officers pimped out, extorted and engaged in a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl and then covered it up than to investigate and prosecute them. So she did that.
I pondered what kind of career would be worth protecting the job of a police officer who lied to a sex worker about a raid to get a free blowjob. Running for President? Hardly. And then I remembered that to me, holding crooked cops accountable would be the ultimate reward. So that’s why I’m excited about this:
Currently, the state requires that police have a “reasonable fear” that they were in danger. Thus, police can argue that the use of deadly force is justified based on what they think might happen, even if it turns out that they were mistaken and there was no actual threat.
Under AB 392, these rules will change. The police officer has to be able to argue that there is an actual imminent threat in order to justify using deadly force.
We still have a long way to go. Every year US cops still kill more than 1,000 men, about three men per day. Around 8 percent of homicides of adult males are caused by cops. That we know of. Despite being required by federal law, most US police departments do not track or report how many people their officers kill.
But this is progress.