HANDCUFFING THE POLICE: California moves to limit use of force by law enforcement

Sacramento, CA (Sacratmento Bee) — Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday advanced a proposal that would restrict the circumstances under which California police officers could use deadly force.

Assembly Bill 931, which would raise the standard for lethal use of force from “reasonable” to “necessary,” passed the Senate Public Safety Committee on an initial vote of 5-1.

It was the first hearing for the controversial measure, which has raised sharp objections from law enforcement groups that contend it would put officers’ lives in danger. Under the bill, deadly force could be justified only if there were no reasonable alternatives.

“We ask officers to run toward danger and sacrifice their safety,” Cory Salzillo of the California State Sheriffs’ Association said. It would be “unfair” to ask them to do so when an after-the-fact analysis might undermine their actions in the field, he added.

Supporters filled the committee room, many of them carrying pictures of friends and family members who had been killed by police. Several lawmakers expressed that the bill was necessary to address a deeper problem of racism in policing.

“It always blows me away that law enforcement only fear for their life when they are facing black and brown people,” Sen. Steve Bradford, D-Gardena, said.

Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, introduced AB 931 in April, after the death of Stephon Clark in south Sacramento. Clark was shot 20 times in his backyard by police officers who said they thought the cellphone in his hand was a gun.



HUMBLE HERO: Gulf War vet saves Wyoming cop from attacker on side of highway; “I was just happy to be in the right place at the right time,” he says

Green River, Wyo. (Fox News) — A trucker who saw combat in Iraq as a Marine is being praised for stopping on a Wyoming highway and pulling a man off a trooper before the man could grab the trooper’s gun.

The trooper was fortunate Darren Phillips, who drives an 18-wheeler for a Utah fuel company, happened by last Thursday on I-80 near Green River. As he got closer, Phillips could see the trooper and the man wrestling on the ground.

“I put my brakes on, and I jump out,” Phillips told KSL-TV. “And by this time, the trooper is on his back and the guy is on top of him. The trooper saw me running over, and as soon as I got up to him, he says, ‘He’s going for my gun.’ ”

Phillips said he used a chokehold to pull the man off the trooper.

“I did two tours in Iraq and I never had to put a chokehold on anyone,” he told the station. “That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever done.”

During an appearance on Fox & Friends Monday, Phillips said the man tried to get up as he applied the chokehold.

“I just told him you better stop struggling, I’m going to put you out,” he said.

He said that later the man complimented him on the chokehold as he was being taken to jail.

“That was pretty amusing, I thought,” he said.

Phillips, of Taylorsville, Utah, was a Marine for 12 years and a member of the Utah Army National Guard for 14 years.

The Wyoming Highway Patrol said on Facebook that suspect Dustin Roberts, 36, of McKinleyville, Calif., tried to disarm the trooper after being stopped for a speeding violation.

Troopers found 74 pounds of marijuana and some cocaine in his vehicle, officials said.

Roberts was charged with drug possession and interfering with a peace officer and booked into the county jail. His bond was set at $125,000.

“I was just happy to be in the right place at the right time,” Phillips told the KSL. “Anything I can do for those guys who put their life on the line every day for us, I’ll do any time.”



SALEM, DE — A Delaware State Trooper was shot multiple times on Wednesday and police say they are closing in on a suspect who they believe was responsible.

The shooting unfolded at around noon, local time, at a Wawa convenience store near Salem. The trooper, who has not yet been identified, was confirmed dead shortly after being rushed to the hospital.

Officials say the slain trooper spotted a suspicious vehicle that was occupied by two suspects in the Wawa parking lot.

Shortly after the trooper made contact, officials say one of the two suspects got out of the vehicle and fired several rounds, hitting the trooper.

Other troopers responding to the scene took one of the suspects into custody without incident. The other suspect fled on foot and has barricaded himself inside his residence in the nearby town of Middletown. Law enforcement sources say the suspect, who has not yet been named, is refusing orders to surrender and has fired several shots at officers who are surrounding his house.

SWAT team officers are currently on the scene.

“This is a sad day for our state and our Delaware State Police family. We ask that you keep the trooper’s family, and the Delaware State Police family, in your thoughts and prayers,” said Delaware State Police Superintendent Nathaniel McQueen.

Several residents in the area have been evacuated due to the gunfire. The Appoquinimink School District in the Middletown, Delaware, area was also placed on lock down.



BAYTOWN, TX — A Texas deputy was shot and killed in the line of duty on Monday after investigators say he may have been intentionally targeted by an unknown suspect.

Assistant Chief Deputy Constable Clint Greenwood, a 30-year veteran of the Baytown Police Department, was shot at around 7 a.m. local time, Baytown Police Lt. Steve Dorris said Monday during a live news conference.

“He succumbed to his injuries,” Dorris said while fighting back tears. He did not survive.”

After being shot, Greenwood was able to radio for help while taking his final breaths.

“I’m bleeding out,” Greenwood told police dispatchers, who immediately sent a team of emergency responders to the scene. Greenwood was administered treatment and airlifted to nearby Memorial Hermann Hospital but was ultimately pronounced dead.

Outside the hospital, officers embraced each other with hugs as police officials escorted a young man who was identified as a relative into the hospital as he cried and held his head in his hands.

At least a dozen police motorcycles, lights flashing, escourted a white minivan that carried Greenwood’s body as the vehicle left the hospital in route to the coroner’s office.

“He was an incredible human being, a cop’s cop,” Precinct 1 Constable Alan Rosen said in a statement.

“This is a reminder to pray for and support all law enforcement officials in our state, especially at this time of grief,” said state Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Baytown Police in conjunction with a host of state investigative agencies are investigating the attack and say the suspect’s motive remains unknown.

“Whether or not he was specifically targeted, or whether this was because of the uniform he was wearing or the place he pulled up to in the morning, we just don’t know that right now,” Dorris said.

Regardless of the motive, investigators say the attack was intentional.

“We don’t have any indication that tells us he’s gonna go out and target anybody else,” said Dorris.

“Texas is taking action to strengthen penalties for those brazen enough to commit crimes against law enforcement, and we will send a message that such vile acts will not be tolerated in the Lone Star State,” Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement shortly after Greenwood’s death was announced. “I am confident that the perpetrator of this swift and despicable act will be apprehended and that murder will be met with swift justice.”