We learn as children that police officers are there to protect us and help us in our time of need. We’re taught they are neighborhood friends, even. The majority are, of course, wonderful men and women who have been bestowed with great power to serve and protect our communities with integrity and honor. But with great power comes great responsibility. Rates of police brutality have risen in the past few years. Over 600 civilians are killed each year by law enforcement in the United States, and California, in particular, has seen a substantial increase in police brutality cases over the past 10 years.

In the past six years, Los Angeles County has held the highest rate of use-of-force incidents in California. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, nearly 1,000 people have suffered wrongful deaths in police custody during that time frame. Law enforcement agencies in the state broke the numbers down to 628 use-of-force incidents resulting in 233 people shot and 149 killed, according to a 2022 article.

According to mappingpoliceviolence.com, 52 people in California have died at the hands of the police so far in 2023.

Police Killings in California
Police in-custody deaths from 2013 through 2021, there were 1,478 cases of wrongful deaths in police custody in California—more killings per police per arrest than in 59% of states in the U.S.(source Mapping Police Violence).

Laws on Police Brutality in California

There are numerous laws concerning police brutality in California following the 2020 crime wave. Assembly Bill 48 “limits use of chemical gas, rubber bullets, and other less lethal weapons at protests, unless someone’s life is in danger.” This holds police departments accountable for reporting how they determine the use of these weapons. In 2021, California Governor, Gavin Newsom, signed the SB 2 and SB 16 , police reform legislation that creates a system of accountability and transparency for peace officers who commit serious misconduct, according to CA.gov. This includes decertification under to those officers who do not adhere to a stricter code of conduct, says CNN. Additionally, the minimum age requirement for individuals applying to become police officers was raised from 18 to 21 (AB 89).

The current climate of law enforcement seems messy. However, the silver lining is that we are in a time when the general public is waking up and becoming aware. Our police force may not be the neighborhood saviors we were taught about in school, but there are certainly efforts being made and light being shed on this sensitive area.

Victims of Police Brutality and Death? Fight For the Ones You Love

We cannot stand by while our loved ones suffer from abuse of power from police whether it is through k9 maulings,shootings, or choking. Any form of excessive force is unacceptable. We understand it may feel intimidating to stand up to police and bureaucracies. Our civil rights lawyers in Los Angeles can help. If you have been involved in an incident with law enforcement and feel that they have violated you Civil Rights, please contact The Sehat Law Firm today for a free consultation.

Los Angeles police misconduct attorneys