Amend Section 508 in PA to a "reasonable belief standard" to give power back to the people

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Amending Pennsylvania Code Title 18 Section 508 to a "reasonable belief" standard changes the determination of whether deadly force is justified from a subjective standard to an objective one. Under a subjective standard, the question that is asked is, "What did the officer believe in the moment?" In the case of Antwon Rose, the officer believed Antwon had a weapon and that was enough for acquittal. Under an objective "reasonable belief" standard, the question becomes, "What should a reasonable officer have believed in light of the situation's circumstances?" This is important because it allows a jury to consider whether an officer was reasonable in their beliefs that led to the use of deadly force. Granting this power to a jury grants this power to the people. It claws back the power of accountability over those who are meant to protect and serve us and all it takes is changing one word.

Amending Section 508 will not end racism. It will not end police brutality or discrimination, or the many injustices that plague this country. What it can do is increase police accountability in their use of deadly force in Pennsylvania. This small, one-word change in the PA code can make our home fairer and more just for our oppressed citizens. It can and will serve justice where justice has previously evaded. This one small change is one small step to giving power back to the people of Pennsylvania.

If this resonates, please share with family and friends. It is imperative that we enact change as soon as possible to protect our fellow citizens.