More Police Reform In The Works At Colorado State Capitol
DENVER (CBS4) - A new police accountability bill at the State Capitol would remove an exemption in the law for Colorado State Patrol and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. Rep. Leslie Herod, who led the sweeping police reforms last summer, is sponsoring the bill which, she says, is also aimed at clarifying some of the provisions in the original law.
"To ensure that officers interpret the law right and act right in the community."
On use of force, her new bill spells out de-escalation techniques officers need to employ first, and it says any use of force must be proportional to the threat of imminent harm.
On body cameras, she makes it clear, even though they're not required until 2023, any department now using them now can't tamper with, hide, or destroy evidence.
"It should be a no brainer, but unfortunately it's not."
Herod is also closing a loophole that allows officers to avoid personal liability for misconduct. It's in response to a resolution passed by Greenwood Village that assures officers won't have to pay damages by always finding they acted in good faith.
Her new bill requires an investigation first or the department loses money.
"Greenwood Village acted egregiously and recklessly. You're going to feel in your pocketbook and people of your town will have to pay for it."
Herod also wants officers to begin reporting all contacts they have with people, including welfare checks, in January of 2022. Reporting was originally slated to begin in 2023.
A separate police accountability bill is in works by two Democrats and two Republicans in the Senate. Herod met with them Monday in an effort to merge the two bills. She says the new bill could include a provision regarding no-knock raids.
"People are losing their lives that don't have to. Mistakes are being made that end with loss of life. We don't need that to continue. We are looking at those provisions with both sides aisle to see if we can come up with compromise."
Herod's bill has its first committee hearing Wednesday.
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