Republican Senate Bill
1.) would withhold federal funding from police departments that don’t stop using chokeholds
2.) require individual police departments to keep and update disciplinary information on officers and share it with other departments when officers try to get jobs,
But, it doesn’t call for a national database to track complaints against individual officers
3.) encourages data collection about other police practices, including “no-knock” warrants and use of force that results in serious injury or death
Democratic Party House Bill
1.) ban on chokeholds
2.) anti-lynching legislation
Lynching is legal, still?! How is it Congress got around to every other damn thing they wanted, but just now got around to this?
Well, Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky attempted to amend the legislation, which he argued was too broad, effectively claiming,
Sometimes, lynching is OK.
3.) creation of a National Police Misconduct Registry…
…to prevent problem officers from changing jurisdictions to avoid accountability.
This is the only substantial change in the list.
4.) incentivizes states and localities to mandate racial bias training
More of the same disregarded training. The Federal can’t legislatively mandate state/local.
5.) incentivizes states and localities to mandate training officers about their “duty to intervene.”
It’s reinforcement of the existing SCOTUS perspective of the public duty doctrine and qualified immunity. Incentivized training is political theater.
Change to QI is meaningful, which must be led by the Federal judicial branch.
6.) sets certain restrictions on the transfer of military-grade equipment to state and local law enforcement
After what’s happened, they get more weapons?
7.) requires federal uniformed police offers to wear body cameras.
Only Federal police; doesn’t state those cameras must be on; applies only to police in uniform; doesn’t make that the footage public or available to judicial defense.
A reasonable bill
The Democratic House Bill creates a National officer complaint database, which state and local departments can voluntarily use however they see fit. Also, it bans lynching and chokeholds, compromises flow of weapons.
This should be combined with the Republican Senate leveraging Federal funding for collection of officer complaint and other data into a Federal repository.
Neither bill leverages Federal funding to mandate body camera footage for every use of force. All of this would effectively set the stage for Federal Judicial movement on QI.
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