California Gov. Gavin Newsom outlined new recommendations on how police respond to protests Tuesday.
Newsom’s advisors—former East Palo Alto police chief Ron Davis and Bay Area Rapid Transit president Lateefah Simon—said local law enforcement agencies should activate their body cameras during protests, the Associated Press reports.
Rubber bullets and chemical irritants can not only injure and kill, the advisors said, but can “rapidly escalate conflict, and … should be used as a last resort to protect life and repel assaults when other means have been exhausted.”
The advisors also recommended that police not wear military-style helmets or use armored vehicles during protests to minimize a “militaristic presence.” The report said that a miliary posture “can be counterproductive … and may incite or escalate conflict.”
Police union representatives from major California cities responded in a statement that the report “pretends that violence and looting are brought on by police presence. We would welcome the authors of this research report to come stand the line with us during the next riot and show us how respecting ‘spatial boundaries’ and reducing the use of less than lethal crowd control devices will quell the looting, violence and injuries to officers we experienced during many of the so called peaceful protests.”