California Governor Gavin Newsom participated in the California Highway Patrol’s cadet graduation Friday.
His show of support for law enforcement comes after a tense week of protests over the police-involved killing of Stephon Clark.
Sixty-three highway patrol cadets officially became law enforcement officers after a handshake from the governor sealed their graduation.
“The sense of optimism about the future and public service, it’s a wonderful thing. I encourage folks to think about that when we think about law enforcement and the incredible heroism and sacrifice these people make every single day and I think that needs to be recognized,” Newsom remarked.
The governor’s show of support comes after a week full of protests and marches against current laws surrounding police use of force policies and state officials deciding to not prosecute the officers who killed Stephon Clark.
“It’s understandable I’ve been in public life over 20 years, we’ve had difficult times in my City of San Francisco, obviously we’re having difficult times across the nation. Things haven’t gone away,” the governor says.
Change is needed to the justice system that treats African American and Latino men and women differently than their white counterparts, Newsom says, adding, that change will come down to training.
“I think training will fundamentally be the most important thing we can do, change culture, change training people are increasingly struggling with conditions that have changed radically issues of mental health, the homeless, the interactions, and the issues most vexing, the issues of implicit bias and issues of deescalation,” Newsom says.
Those issues are the center of a debate in the capitol between police groups and victims of officer-involved shootings.
The governor says early next week he plans to meet with Assemblymember Shirley Weber on her proposed law restricting police use of deadly force. In that same time frame, he says he plans to meet with law enforcement representatives.