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  • Writer's pictureGabriel San Roman

Rival State Bills on Police Use of Deadly Force Divide Orange County

Updated: Aug 13, 2020

Theresa Smith lays down a blanket on the grounds of Anaheim Cemetery one morning before wiping the hardened dirt from her son’s headstone. This December will mark 10 years since five Anaheim officers shot Caesar Cruz to death in a Wal-Mart parking lot. She began protesting outside police department headquarters that same weekend and finally settled a civil suit in 2015. But Smith’s activism continues, despite the toll it takes on the 72-year-old. “Sometimes, when I’m feeling really down or I maybe want to give up fighting after all these years, I come here, sit down and talk to him,” she says. “I get rejuvenated to continue this work for police accountability, which is hard to do.”

These days, that means flying to Sacramento to advocate for the California Act to Save Lives (Assembly Bill 392) ahead of passing its first hurdle at the April 9 Assembly Public Safety Committee hearing.

Read more on my latest OC Weekly News Feature out on newsstands today:

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