Police Reform | KUNC

Police Reform

Minneapolis police officer with a light blue shirt wears a body camera.
Tony Webster / CC BY-SA 2.0

Body-worn cameras have long been a staple of police reform efforts. Activists, civil rights groups, politicians and law enforcement value the accountability boost they provide. The cameras have a wide range of uses and some rather unclear impacts on police-community interactions.

Leigh Paterson / KUNC

Police body camera video that shows the shooting of De'Von Bailey tells two stories. To a grand jury, it exonerated the actions of Colorado Springs police officers last summer. To Rep. Leslie Herod, a Democrat pivotal to the crafting of Colorado's expansive new police accountability law, it shows what the police did wrong.

Scott Franz/Capitol Coverage

On Juneteenth, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed the “Enhance Law Enforcement Integrity” bill into law.  The bill was introduced in response to protests over the death of George Floyd and police brutality.

Denise Maes, public policy director for the ACLU of Colorado, joined KUNC’s Colorado Edition to explain what’s included in the legislation.  

Updated at 12:58 p.m. ET

Senate Democrats, emboldened by a national outcry for reform of the country's law enforcement departments, blocked debate Wednesday on a Republican police reform bill that they said did not go far enough to address racial inequality.

Scott Franz/Capitol Coverage

Gov. Jared Polis on Friday signed a set of police reforms into law, saying they were a "long overdue moment of national reflection."

The bipartisan law is Colorado's response to protests sparked by the death of George Floyd and other unarmed Black people who have been killed by law enforcement.

In the wake of George Floyd's death, a flashpoint in the debates over police reform has been the push to ban chokeholds nationwide. Advocates believe that enshrining a ban into law will deter police violence.

And it's gaining traction. Congressional Democrats have proposed a legislative package that calls for a ban on all neck restraints. President Trump, though he stopped short of full support of a ban, said late last week that police should avoid using chokeholds. And the state of New York passed a law banning the tactic.

Stephanie Daniel & Rae Solomon / KUNC

For nearly two weeks, protesters have marched through the streets of Denver. They are demanding justice and police accountability in the wake of George Floyd's death. At the forefront of this movement are activists. Some are seasoned. Some are new. But all are fighting for change.

Scott Franz/Capitol Coverage

Last week, Republican Sen. John Cooke of Greeley said he was calling a sweeping set of police reforms being proposed by Democratic lawmakers the “I hate the police bill.”

But on Tuesday, the former sheriff of Weld County had dramatically changed his mind. He said the measure — which will require officers to wear body cameras, intervene when their peers are using inappropriate force and follow several other new rules aimed at stopping police brutality — should now be embraced by all law enforcement agencies.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Police Reform

Jun 8, 2020

What does it mean to reform the police?

As hundreds of thousands of people pour into the streets to protest racial injustice, combating police brutality has come to the forefront. “We have been fighting and advocating to stop a war on black lives. And that is how we see it — this is a war on black life,” Black Lives Matter founder Opal Tometi told The New Yorker.