MOORLACH UPDATE — AB 392 and Use of Deadly Force — July 30, 2019

It’s fascinating how someone can read a newspaper article and presume or project certain positions based on just one of many sentences I shared on the Senate Floor regarding AB 392 (see MOORLACH UPDATE — AB 1054 and Investor-Owned Utilities — July 9, 2019).

The editorial in OpsLens below is an example of why context and full understanding is so vitally important when discussing important topics.

For my complete Floor speech, go to

I stated that I fully appreciate that public safety personnel have difficult responsibilities, as we had honored Sacramento Police Officer Tara O’Sullivan that morning at the beginning of the Senate Session.  Officer O’Sullivan was killed in the line of duty this past June.

I stated that I serve as the Vice Chair of the Senate Public Safety Committee, where both AB 392 and SB 230 were heard.  Both bills had numerous individuals present to share their support (AB 392) and opposition (SB 230) for several hours.

I had to deal with inappropriate use of force claims as an officer of the County of Orange.  It was those experiences that provided the context of my vote, and not some naive let’s-all-get-along dance that he supposed.  He may be surprised that a party registration does not necessarily mean some of us can’t be independent thinkers.

I supported additional training and expressed the hope that the final, amended version of AB 392 would strike the right balance.

I am keenly aware that those working in the public safety arena have very little room for error in protecting themselves and others.  I grieve openly when lives are needlessly lost on both sides.

Finally, I believe many police shootings could be reduced, in particular the one I referenced in my Senate Floor speech, which would later be determined as “a tragic and possibly preventable death” of U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Manuel  Loggins, Jr.  And then he would know what I was thinking of when I cast my vote for AB 392.

For as difficult as public safety work is, it does not come with the role of judge, jury and executioner when circumstances dictate a different and less severe use of force.

Twenty-fifth Anniversary Look Back

Twenty-five years ago this month, I wrote a letter to then-Assemblyman Curt Pringle with legislation suggestions. I shared what I had learned from my experience the prior few months, garnered from running for the countywide elected position of Treasurer-Tax Collector.

From a closure standpoint, earlier this year I attended an evening reception near the Capitol sponsored by the Orange County Children and Families Commission. While there, I had the pleasure of watching Curt Pringle and State Senator Tom Umberg exchange some healthy bantering. Time does heal wounds.

I am now on the receiving end of legislative requests. Believe it or not, it’s fun to receive legislative recommendations from you. Many of my most successful bills came from friends, constituents, elected leaders and industry groups. If you have a bill idea, my staff and I work on it after the conclusion of Session and take the fall and winter months to narrow the list down from about 100 suggestions to the roughly 17 bill slots I actually have available. Consider this an invitation.

My correspondence was several pages long, so I have been providing it in segments. For the first segment on city investment policies, see MOORLACH UPDATE — Housing and Banking — July 4, 2019. For the second segment, requesting the reporting of investments at the current market value, see MOORLACH UPDATE — Marking to Market — July 12, 2019. For the third, covering school districts, see MOORLACH UPDATE — More Housing — July 17, 2019. And for the fourth, addressing outside participants, see MOORLACH UPDATE — Lonely Republicans — July 24, 2019.

This final segment concludes my effort to make legislative recommendations. Of course, before the next legislative year started in January 1995, the County of Orange filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy and this crisis was very disruptive. But, it instigated hearings by the California State Senate, resulting in legislation, and by the U.S. Congress.

I refer to a number of derivative debacles that were occurring around the time of my campaign. For Proctor and Gamble, see For Granite Capital, see And for Piper Jaffray, see

Here’s what I wrote in 1995, less than five months before Orange County filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection (with bolding to point out some prescient insights):

I apologize for the length of my letter, but it was brief. Honestly. I will be in touch to pursue each of these proposals individually and will write on each specific legislative idea in greater detail.

Please call me when you have an opportunity. I stand ready to do research, write and testify in Sacramento on the above concerns.

I will be carbon copying selected legislators to keep them appraised as well. But, with your fond memories of Mr. Citron, I thought I would approach you and encourage your leadership on these concerns.

Again, thanks for your encouragement, endorsement and involvement in my campaign. We made a quiet little race into a national debate on the way municipalities invest. The topic of derivatives, leveraging, and arbitrage will not leave the scene for many years. The efficacy of their use deserve a formal hearing, at the least.

If we do not act quickly, we may see the County of Orange receive article coverage in the country’s business pages with the other casualties. We’ll soon join names like Proctor and Gamble, Dell Computers, Granite Capital, Bank of America, Kidder Peabody, Paine Webber, Piper Jaffray, and the beat goes on. these are serious concerns. I look forward to your serious involvement.

Very truly yours,

John M. W. Moorlach, CPA, CFP

cc: Senator John Lewis
Senator Rob Hurtt
Assemblyman Mickey Conroy
Assemblyman Gil Ferguson

OpsLens 3


New California Law Will Put its Law Enforcers at Higher Risk


It’s fascinating (not in a good way) what can happen when leftist politicians and community activists, with the help of a complicit mainstream media, create a myth and then endeavor to “fix” the “problem” the myth alleges.

The myth: That America’s cops are too quick to use force and are specifically shooting and killing minorities.

Recently, the California legislature approved a Use of Force bill that virtue-signaler extraordinaire Governor Gavin Newsom is likely to sign. According to The Sacramento Bee, back in May, Governor Newsom said it was “‘an important bill’ that will ‘help restore community trust in our criminal justice system.’”

Restore trust? Yeah, after the left has done and is doing everything it can to destroy that trust. Primarily, they demonize cops and expect them to perform perfectly in an imperfect world, according to their unrealistic standards.

Recently on Fox News Channel, Laura Ingraham interviewed conservative commentator and former NYPD police officer Dan Bongino and Democrat commentator Jonathan Harris. Bongino drilled Harris a new one for his absurd views about police killing some 900 to 1,000 suspects annually over recent years.

The thing is, though that is an accurate number, Harris said it as if there were something inherently wrong with the number. Reasonable people believe the vast majority of the suspects cops kill warrant it. The problem: We’re not dealing with reasonable people, such as Jonathan Harris.

Unreasonable also applies to those who passed Assembly Bill 392 in the California Senate after a year of debate. The new law “allows officers to use deadly force based on the totality of the circumstances.”

Sounds reasonable, right? But this used to mean when the officer felt lethal force was “reasonable” under the circumstances. This bill will change the standard to “necessary” as defined by investigators (and second-guessers, politicians, critics, cop-haters, etc.), after days, weeks, and months assessing what an officer had to decide in an instant.

I know the reply to this next question will probably be a resounding “No,” which may cause more aftershocks in southern Cali. But shouldn’t the benefit of the doubt in a use of force go to the trained, sworn law enforcement officer rather than the suspected criminal? Okay, California’s Richter Scale is going off the chart.

Sadly, this law’s passage shows the disconnect between the cops they say they support and even our friends with Rs after their names. Reportedly, Sen. John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) said, “the bill would reduce ‘tragic and possibly preventable’ deaths.” The Bee also reported, “Dozens of law enforcement representatives from across the state, however, still oppose the measure.” Though the revised bill may be “better” than it was, that doesn’t make it good—especially for cops. But, in this one-party state, the left was going to enact something bad for law enforcement.

Unfortunately, “Many of his fellow Republicans joined him in supporting the bill,” The Bee reported. So much for a loyal opposition. Republicans always feel if they compromise across the aisle, the Democrats will reciprocate. Nope. The neo-Democrats (socialists) see it as a sign of weakness and come after more.

I’ll engage in some educated speculation here. I could be wrong, but anyone want to wager when Sen. Moorlach thought about tragic and possibly preventable deaths, just like the Democrats, he was thinking about the tragic, preventable deaths of suspects, not of law enforcement officers?

Steve Pomper

Steve Pomper is an OpsLens contributor, a retired Seattle police officer, and the author of four non-fiction books, including De-Policing America: A Street Cop’s View of the Anti-Police State. You can read a review of this new book in Front Page Magazine and listen to an interview with Steve on the Joe Pags Show. Steve was a field-training officer, on the East Precinct Community Police Team, and served his entire career on the streets. He has a BA in English Language and Literature. He enjoys spending time with his kids and grand-kids. He loves to ride his Harley, hike, and cycle with his wife, Jody, a retired firefighter. You can find out more about Steve and send him comments and questions at


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