New Police Accountability Law

Concerning Measures to Enhance Law Enforcement Integrity

On Juneteenth, June 19th, 2020, Gov. Polis signed SB 20-217 into law.

  • Justice for victims of police violence by ending qualified immunity. Officers found liable will no longer be shielded by the doctrine of qualified immunity which has served to protect bad officers from accountability and denied justice to victims.

 

  • Mandate body cameras, make video of police misconduct publicly available, and hold officers accountable when they fail to record. When officers are accused of misconduct, the footage must be released to the public within 21 days, and, ensures the victim of the officer misconduct and the victim’s family receive the footage 72 hours prior to public release.  

 

  • Require data collection and public reporting on policing, made available to the public on a state database.  Officers who are found untruthful, terminated for cause, or decertified would be listed in a publicly-available database to prevent them from moving from one agency to another.

 

  • Rein in use of deadly force by officers. Changes use of force standard to (1) outlaw chokeholds; (2) outlaw deadly force against someone fleeing the police who does not pose an immediate risk; (3) outlaw the use of deadly force to arrest people for minor offenses and non-violent offenses; and (4) require officers to use non-violent means before resorting to any force.

 

  • Require officers to intervene to stop excessive force and makes failure to intervene by an officer a criminal offense.

  

  • Decertify bad officers. If a court or internal investigations finds that an officer used unlawful force or officer is convicted of a violent offense, tampered with body camera footage to cover up misconduct, or failed to intervene to stop unlawful use of force that results in serious bodily injury or death, the officer will lose POST certification, thus stopping bad police officers from continuing to put the public at risk.  

  • Authorizes the Attorney General to bring lawsuits to force bad police departments to change and to bring criminal charges against officers for violations of POST standards.

 

  • In response to incidents at recent protests, this bill prohibits law enforcement officers from shooting rubber bullets indiscriminately into a crowd and prohibits targeting rubber bullets at someone’s head, torso, or back. It also prohibits using tear gas without first warning the crowd, and giving people time and a route to disperse.   

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