Colorado Legislature Passes Police Reform Bill

*This bill cleared the Senate and now heads to the Governor’s desk for a signature. Polis has indicated that he will sign the bill. The final vote on the bill was taken in the state Senate on Saturday afternoon, June 13th.

A major piece of criminal justice reform is moving its way through the state legislature. State Representative Leslie Herod, a Democrat from Denver, one of the sponsors of SB 217, says the time is ripe for this type of reform.

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SB 217 cleared the state senate Tuesday morning with only one Republican vote against it. The bill includes measures that would increase accountability for police, including removing qualified immunity from prosecution, so that law enforcement that does act unlawfully can be criminally prosecuted.

Several amendments have been made to Senate Bill 217, including one which prohibits officers from using less-lethal projectiles on protesters to target their head, pelvis or back or to shoot them indiscriminately into a crowd. It also bars the use of chemical agents to disperse a crowd before giving orders and time for people to comply with them.

The Law Enforcement Accountability and Integrity Act was first introduced last week in the midst of large demonstrations in Denver. Police have been criticized for using pepper balls and tear gas on peaceful protesters and journalists.

(Image Credit: Background featured Image from Representative Leslie Herod’s Facebook page)

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