Lawmakers in Colorado have ruled in favor of passing Senate Bill 20-217, also referred to as the Enhance Law Enforcement Integrity Bill. The bill was proposed after supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement began protesting over the death of George Floyd and the need for change in all police departments. Although some provisions outlined in the bill aren’t expected to take effect until 2023, some changes will need to be implemented in police departments as soon as September 2020 that are expected to hold police more accountable for the actions they choose to take while performing their duties.
Here is a brief overview of what the public can expect from SB 20-217:
- The bill prohibits a peace officer from using a chokehold.
- The bill requires a peace officer to have a legal basis for making contact with an individual.
- The bill allows a person whose rights have been infringed upon by a peace officer to take civil action against the violation. If the individual is successful at filing their lawsuit, they are entitled to recover reasonable attorney fees.
- Beginning, January 1, 2022, the bill requires that the Colorado Peace Officer Standards and Training Board (P.O.S.T.) create and maintain a database containing information related to a peace officer’s:
- Repeated failure to follow P.O.S.T. board training requirements
- Termination for cause
- The bill requires any peace officer “to intervene when another officer is using unlawful physical force and requires the intervening officer to file a report regarding the incident.” In the event a peace officer fails to intervene when required, the P.O.S.T. Board shall decertify the officer.
- Beginning July 1, 2023, the bill requires all local law enforcement agencies, including the Colorado State Patrol,“to issue body-worn cameras to their officers and requires all recordings of an incident be released to the public within 21 days after the local law enforcement agency or Colorado State Patrol receives a complaint of misconduct.”
Although SB 20-217 won’t prevent all Colorado police officers from engaging in inappropriate or illegal behavior, the bill does prove to be a step in the right direction.
Are you a victim of police misconduct?
If you aren’t sure who you should contact to discuss your issue with or what your next steps should be to address it, you can contact Bryan & Terrill Law, PLLC to speak with a Colorado police misconduct lawyer. When a Colorado police officer abuses their authority or takes advantage of a suspect, they should be held accountable for their unjust behavior. To learn more about holding a Colorado police officer liable for violating your rights or breaking one or more laws or department policies, contact the Colorado police misconduct attorneys at Bryan & Terrill Law, PLLC today.
Bryan & Terrill Law, PLLC can be reached at:
333 W. Hampden Avenue, #420B
Englewood, CO 80110