Colorado lawmakers introduce bill that would fire officers who fail to stop inappropriate use of force

Politics

DENVER (KDVR) — Late Wednesday afternoon, the Colorado state Senate began considering a police integrity and accountability bill.

The bill comes after massive protests across the country over the death of George Floyd, who was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis. Floyd died after an officer put his knee on his neck for more than eight minutes.

The bill would require officers across the state to wear body cameras. Video would have to be released within 14 days.

It would require officers who use inappropriate force to be terminated.

It would also require officers who fail to intervene to stop the use of inappropriate force to be terminated.

Officers who are found guilty of a crime or found liable in a civil suit would be decertified and could not be hired anywhere in the state.

An independent investigations unit would be established to determine if physical force was necessary.

District 8 state Rep. Leslie Herod helped draft the bill.

“What this bill would do is say, if you’re a law enforcement officer and you act unlawfully and create serious bodily injury ending in death, is that you’re held accountable. That includes criminal prosecution and civil liability,” Herod said.

Aurora’s former police Chief Ron Sloan said, “The chiefs of police are very much on board with the concept of improving accountability. There is a lot of work like that we could do to make this bill clearer.”

Sloan is also the legislative spokesperson for the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police.

Senate President Leroy Garcia says the accountability bill is needed now.

“I would argue we should have done it several years ago. And I would argue that if it’s not now, is it one or two or three more travesties from now? Is it allowing more of this to happen? Now is the time,” said Garcia.

Legislators are hoping to get the bill passed in both the Senate and House and to the governor’s desk by the end of this month.

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