ICYMI: Senate Democrats Unveil Bill to Bring Equity to Virginia Policing
RICHMOND - Yesterday, Senate Democrats unveiled the first of several justice reform bills that will bring equity into policing ahead of the Special Session scheduled to kick off on August 18. The omnibus police reform bill addresses the recruitment of law enforcement officers, use of force, training standards across the Commonwealth, reporting, and standards of conduct and accountability.
Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Mamie E. Locke (D-Hampton) said at the virtual news conference that legislators were responding to the national reckoning on policing that has followed the deaths of African Americans at the hands of officers in other parts of the country. “The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery have awoken Americans and Virginians to a long-standing problem. Just because something happened in Minneapolis and Louisville and Georgia does not mean Virginia is immune.”
Senator Scott Surovell (D-Mount Vernon) highlighted that, “It’s going to enhance law enforcement’s ability to root out bad apples, it’s going to improve their ability to hire officers that are good people and good officers and don’t have a history of disciplinary problems or dishonesty, and it will help standardize our training."
The remainder of the Senate Democrats’ Special Session justice reform package will be released next week.
Bringing Equity to Virginia Policing
- Prohibit No Knock Warrants (Breonna Taylor)
- Ban Sex With Individuals Arrested by Law Enforcement
- Prohibit Hiring of Officers Fired or Resigned During Use of Force Investigations
- Create a Decertification Procedure for Law Enforcement Officers
- Ban chokeholds and strangleholds (George Floyd)
- Require Attempts at De-escalation Prior to Use of Force
- Require Warnings Before Shots Fired
- Require Law Enforcement to Exhaust All Other Means Prior to Shooting
- Create Duty to Intervene by Fellow Law Enforcement Officers
- Prohibit Shooting at Moving Motor Vehicles
- Require Departments to Create a Use of Force Continuum
- Require Comprehensive Reporting by All Law Enforcement Agencies Including Use of Force Data
- Cancel HB599 Funding (Virginia supplemental funding for local police departments) After Local Police Have Disproportionate Use of Force Incidents In their Jurisdiction