Monday, July 20, 2020
The General Assembly will be voting as a body this coming week on the police accountability legislation (LCO #34771). On Friday, July 17th, the Judiciary Committee held a zoom hearing on the bill. It was a formality as Rep. Porter and Senator Winfield made their positions clear that generations of racism and oppression has led to the creation of this legislation. There is some resistance from the Republican caucus, but the bill has enough interest to pass both chambers. The best option to impact this bill is for members to call their State Reps ASAP. There is no doubt that the bill will pass. The best we can hope for is an amendment on the floor that strips out the worst parts. The main issues are the removal of qualified immunity and the ability for POST to decertify an officer without due process. (An arbitration award would not reinstate an officer if POST decertified them.)
All police officers should reach out to their reps and senators, especially the legislators who sought endorsements from CPFU in the past.
You can learn who your state representatives are by visiting this link.
Here is a sample letter to get you started:
Dear Senator or State Representative,
I am writing you today as a constituent and a police officer who is concerned about the bill known as LCO #3471. If this legislation passes as proposed, it will strip the qualified immunity that police officers need in order to keep our communities safe. It would also allow the Police Officer Standards and Training council to de-certify a police officer and end that officer’s career without due process. I would appreciate it very much if you would propose or support an amendment to this bill that would strip out these dangerous and reckless provisions.