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SB 20-217 - Amends Various Police Accountability and Reform Laws - Colorado Key Vote

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Title: Amends Various Police Accountability and Reform Laws

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Title: Amends Various Police Accountability and Reform Laws

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to amend and pass a bill that amends various police accountability and reform laws.

Highlights:

 

  • Requires all local law enforcement agencies and the Colorado State Patrol to provide body-worn cameras for each peace officer of the law enforcement agency who interacts with members of the public, by July 1, 2023 (Sec. 1).

  • Requires a peace officer to wear and activate a body-worn camera or dash-camera when responding to a call for service or during any interaction with the public initiated by the peace officer (Sec. 1).

  • Specifies that if a peace officer fails to activate a body-worn camera or dash-camera, or tampers with body-worn or dash-camera footage or operation when required to activate the camera, there is a permissive inference in any investigation or legal proceeding that the missing footage would have reflected misconduct by the peace officer (Sec. 1).

  • Specifies that if a court, administrative law judge, hearing officer, or a final decision in an internal investigation finds that a peace officer intentionally failed to activate a body-worn camera or dash-camera, or tampered with any body-worn or dash-camera, (Sec. 1):

    • The peace officer’s employer will impose discipline up to and including termination;

    • The P.O.S.T. Board will suspend the peace officer’s certification for a period of at least one year if there is intent to conceal unlawful or inappropriate actions or obstruct justice; or

    • The P.O.S.T. Board will permanently revoke the peace officer’s certification if there was intent to conceal unlawful or inappropriate actions or obstruct justice in an incident resulting in a civilian death. 

  • Requires a local law enforcement agency or the Colorado State Patrol to release all unedited video and audio recordings of an incident in which there is a complaint of peace officer misconduct by another peace officer, a civilian, or nonprofit organization through notice to the agency involved in the misconduct, to the public within 21 days after the complaint of misconduct is received (Sec. 1).

  • Requires all video and audio recordings depicting a death to be provided upon request to the victim’s spouse, parent, legal guardian, child, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, significant other, or another lawful representative, and the notification of their right to review the recording at least 72 hours prior to public disclosure (Sec. 1).

  • Requires the Colorado State Patrol and each local law enforcement agency that employs peace officers to report the following to the division of criminal justice, beginning January 1, 2023 (Sec. 1):

    • All use of force by its peace officers that results in death or serious bodily injury, including the perceived demographic information of the person contacted;

    • All instances when a peace officer resigned while under investigation for violating department policy;

    • All data relating to contacts conducted by its peace officers, including the perceived demographic information of the person contacted; and

    • All instances of unannounced entry into a residence, with or without a warrant, including the perceived demographic information of the subject of the unannounced entry.

  • Defines “contacts” as an interaction with an individual, whether or not the person is in a motor vehicle, initiated by a peace officer, whether consensual or nonconsensual, for the purpose of enforcing the law or investigating possible violations of the law (Sec. 1).

  • Specifies that if any peace officer is convicted of a crime involving the unlawful use or threatened use of physical force, or a crime involving the failure to intervene in the use of unlawful force, the P.O.S.T. Board will permanently revoke the peace officer’s certification (Sec. 1).

  • Prohibits a law enforcement agency, in response to a protest or demonstration, from (Sec. 1):

    • Discharging kinetic impact projectiles and all other non or less-lethal projectiles in a manner that targets the head, pelvis, or back;

    • Discharging kinetic impact projectiles indiscriminately into a crowd; or

    • Using chemical agents or irritants, including pepper spray and tear gas, prior to issuing an order to disperse in a sufficient manner to ensure the order is heard and repeated if necessary, followed by sufficient time and space to allow compliance with the order.

  • Authorizes a peace officer to use physical force only if nonviolent means would be ineffective in effecting an arrest, preventing an escape, or preventing an imminent threat of serious bodily injury or death to the peace officer or another person (Sec. 4).

  • Requires a peace officer, when using physical force, to (Sec. 4):

    • Not use deadly physical force to apprehend a person who is suspected of only a minor or nonviolent offense;

    • Use only a degree of force consistent with the minimization of injury to others;

    • Ensure that assistance and medical aid are rendered to any injured or affected persons as soon as practicable; and

    • Ensure that any identified relatives or next of kin of persons who have sustained serious bodily injury or death are notified as soon as practicable.

  • Prohibits a peace officer from using a chokehold upon another person (Sec. 4).

  • Defines “chokehold” as a method by which a person applies sufficient pressure to a person to make breathing difficult or impossible and includes but is not limited to any pressure to the neck, throat, or windpipe that may prevent or hinder breathing or intake of air, and applying pressure to a person’s neck on either side of the windpipe, but not to the windpipe itself, to stop the flow of blood to the brain via the carotid arteries (Sec. 4).

  • Authorizes a peace officer to use deadly physical force to make an arrest only when all other means of apprehension are unreasonable given the circumstances and (Sec. 4):

    • The arrest is for a felony involving conduct including the use or threatened use of deadly physical force;

    • The suspect poses an immediate threat to the peace officer or another person; and or

    • The force employed does not create a substantial risk of injury to other persons.

  • Requires a peace officer to identify themselves as a peace officer and to give a clear verbal warning of their intent to use firearms or other deadly physical force, with sufficient time for the warning to be observed, unless to do so would unduly place peace officers at risk of injury, would create a risk of death or injury to other persons (Sec. 4).

  • Classifies any peace officer who fails to intervene to prevent the use of unlawful force as committing a class 1 misdemeanor (Sec. 5).

  • Specifies that when an administrative law judge hearing officer or internal investigation finds that a peace officer failed to intervene in an incident resulting in serious bodily injury or death to any person, the peace officer’s employer will subject the peace officer to discipline, up to and including termination, and the P.O.S.T. Board will permanently decertify the peace officer (Sec. 5).

  • Requires the P.O.S.T. Board, beginning January 1, 2022, to create and maintain a database containing information related to a peace officer’s (Sec. 9):

    • Untruthfulness;

    • Repeated failure to follow P.O.S.T. Board training requirements;

    • Decertification by the P.O.S.T. Board; and

    • Termination for cause.

  • Appropriates $617,478 for the 2020-21 state fiscal year to the department of public safety for use by the Colorado State Patrol (Sec. 18).

Title: Amends Various Police Accountability and Reform Laws

Title: Amends Various Police Accountability and Reform Laws

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