Posted by 19 June 2020
In the wake of protests over law enforcement tactics, Colorado legislators have passed a bill that will overhaul how police in that state operate.
This week, Gov. Jared Polis signed into law SB 217, which both houses of the legislature quickly passed this month. Among other things, this new law will:
- Mandate the use of body cameras in many instances, and penalize officers who turn off cameras to obstruct justice
- Allow police to be sued and be personally liable if they violate someone’s civil rights or do not step in to prevent another officer from violating someone’s civil rights
- Ban police from firing rubber bullets at protestors
- Establish a use-of-force database
- Create an oversight board to monitor police actions
Supporters of this bill say that it will help address many of the troubling law enforcement practices that have led to the deaths and injury of suspects. They argue that these reforms will help ensure police protect the rights of people while also upholding the law. Opponents, however, contend that the bill was hastily written and will handicap efforts to protect the public.
Other states are considering similar reform legislation. Next week, the House of Representatives will vote on a bill that will enact some of these measures at a federal level.
Do you think that police officers should be personally liable if they violate someone’s civil rights? Should police be prohibited from firing rubber bullets at protestors?