DENVER (CBS4) – Some state lawmakers say they hear the demands of Black Lives Matter demonstrators and are taking action. Rep. Leslie Herod and Senate President Leroy Garcia introduced a bill that overhauls policing in Colorado.
They unveiled details of the bill at a Capitol press conference Tuesday afternoon with families who’ve been impacted by police use of force.
Under a draft of the bill, the Attorney General’s Office would head-up a new unit to investigate every incident where someone is seriously injured or killed by police, release a public report of the investigation within 90 days and criminally prosecute officers who misuse force, either on-duty or off-duty, as well as those officers who witness it but don’t intervene or report it.
The bill also requires every officer in the state to wear a body camera at all times and for agencies to release videos within 7 days. It also sets up a public database for not only all use of force cases but every stop by every officer, including:
– The justification for it
– If force was used
– What happened as a result
– Whether the person had a gun
– The individual’s race, sex, age, gender identity, disability status, mental status, housing status, and veteran status
“We have a moment right now. And I want to say that all of those people who are outside protesting, demonstrating, demanding justice, your voices are being heard right here in the Capitol,” said Herod. “I need your help to make sure that we hold your elected officials, our elected officials accountable, to get this bill passed.”
The bill also outlaws chokeholds and prevents police from chasing a felon who is escaping custody unless someone’s life is in imminent danger.
Herod admits the bill’s mandates will cost agencies millions of dollars to implement and, so far, the only provision the police union supports is holding officers accountable if they don’t intervene or report misuse of force by other officers.