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What are the Major Differences Between the Democrats' & Republicans' Police Reform Bills?
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  • Kathleen

    I totally agree with jimK. The hard points that need to be legislated as controls are the redefinition of qualitative immunity so that it can never be used to shield officers from being fully accountable abusive practices, a publicly available nationally maintained database of officers charged and/or punished for abusive practices or officers who found to neither restrain nor report fellow officers abusive practices along with the consequences for their dereliction of that responsibility, the banning of choke holds, the requirement for timely and accurate reporting along with federal funding consequences for a lack of timely reporting, greatly limited use of no-knock warrants to specialty units only with clearly required need and with prior due caution to assure that they cannot ‘mistake’ the address to which it applies, and the banning of military weaponry purchases for rank and file community policing along with reasonable restrictions of the purchase of such equipment for speciality police units at the state or large metropolitan area levels. The remaining stuff includes requiring communities to consider how their policing needs best fit into their total community safety net, that police see themselves and the community see police more as ‘guardians’ of their friends and neighbors and less than as ‘enforcers’ of justice, and that best practices from national databases are periodically reviewed by community leaders, to guide their own policing needs. Police officers are granted a lot of authority over their communities and it is imperative that their authority cannot be misused or that misuse of their authority can be excused by laws designed to protect police from collateral damage which can happen when their authority must be exercised to protect the community from violent criminals. There are hard requirements and soft requirements needed to assure that officers can safely do their jobs and so citizens are never disrespected or harmed by a culture that supports and excuses abusive practices that can naturally occur whenever ‘authority’ over others is necessarily granted to them.

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