Thank you Gov. Evers and Lt. Gov. Barnes for proposing a package of police-reform bills to ensure that our law enforcement officers (LEOs) have the necessary tools to do their jobs effectively while reducing the risk of endangering the citizens in our communities. The bills would put measures in place to reduce the likelihood of tragedies like the killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd at the hands of LEOs.
The bills would:
- Establish use-of-force standards for all law enforcement agencies as only allowable as a last resort and that such use of force should be limited to the least amount necessary.
- Require officers to complete eight hours of training annually on use of force and de-escalation.
- Create a $1 million grant program, administered by the DOJ, to fund community organizations that work to mediate conflicts.
- Require law enforcement agencies to develop policies banning choke holds.
- Require law enforcement agencies to prepare policies for use of force and make such policies publicly available.
- Create a state law allowing civil suits against unnecessarily calling police intending to infringe on a person’s constitutional rights.
- Prohibit no-knock search warrants.
While I think we can do more, this is a step in the right direction and demonstrates that Gov. Evers is invested in giving our LEOs the tools they need to keep our communities safe. In order for this to happen, our Republican Legislature must stop refusing to show up. They haven’t met since May 13th to discuss these or any other bills. They must show up and put in the work to support our communities, as Gov. Evers and Lt. Gov. Barnes have been doing all along.