Fox & Friends guest: Stephon Clark's death was "suicide by a cop"
Jason Johnson also claimed Freddie Gray died because "additional rules on the police officers" make it "difficult for them to understand and integrate"
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From the April 10 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): Why is California considering these new restrictions on when police can essentially use deadly force?
JASON JOHNSON (PRESIDENT, LELDF): Well, this is a response to the Stephon Clark case, which you'll recall involved a gentleman who ran from the police into a backyard of a home in dimly lit conditions and actually pulled out a cell phone and pointed it at the police officers as if it was a firearm. It was a suicide by a cop. And in response to that case and all the questions about that case, which have been largely based on false narratives that have been sort of perpetuated by the media there, the legislatures introduced this bill. It calls for police to take a much more passive approach in their use of force. And it's a first-time departure from landmark Supreme Court case called Graham v. Connor. This is first in the country.
DOOCY: I don't think we want a passive police force, do we?
JOHNSON: I don't. I don't think most people do. I think people expect their police officers to be professional. But also to follow their training and to follow the law. And that's what happened in the Stephon Clark case. And I think there are some people who were displeased with the outcome and the fact that the police officers were not prosecuted. But they weren't prosecuted because they followed the law. And so California lawmakers, some of them, want to change the law.
DOOCY: I understand a couple of years ago you were, what, deputy commissioner in Baltimore at the time of the Freddie Gray incident. What did you learn from that that can be helpful now?
JOHNSON: Well I'd rather -- just after the Freddie Gray incident, I could just tell you that sometimes these -- when you are putting these additional rules on the police officers, they can be difficult for them to understand and integrate and the reality on the ground is, is that police officers are involved in many situations in a crime fight. And they need clear rules to follow and they need to be able to actually step up and prevent crime ideally. They need to do it professionally but they also need to be able to appropriately address individuals who are armed, for example.