First-round approval has been given to a state senate bill to modify Missouri law governing the use of deadly force by law enforcement officers. Current law says the use of physical force when making an arrest is not justified unless the arrest is lawful or the officer reasonably believes the arrest is lawful. The bill would add that the use of force when making an arrest is not justified unless the amount of force used was objectively reasonable.
Senator Jamillah Nasheed (D-St. Louis) says deadly force should be the last resort.
“This is about unarmed individuals dying by the hands of law enforcement. Again, this is not an attack on law enforcement,” said Nasheed. “One day after Baltimore, one session after Ferguson, the Senate refuses to hear the people’s cry for change. Do we want to be a part of the problem or a part of the solution? We can show the world that we are listening. We hear the voices. We hear the cries going on throughout the state of Missouri,” said Nasheed.
Senator Kiki Curls (D-Kansas City) says Missouri must change the social reality and mentality of some law enforcement when they deal with people they might not have much experience with.
“We need to be able to determine and develop a statute to protect those who should not have been killed while that officer was in the line of duty,” said Curls.
The bill needs another favorable vote to go to the House.