2020 was the beginning of a radical push to completely transform the Law Enforcement profession. The isolated tragedy of the death of George Floyd was used by opportunists to denigrate police and Law Enforcement as a group.
Instead of a constructive dialogue of how nuanced reforms could make policing better for communities, political players pushed to remake the institution in their own left-wing image. 2021 will be no different. In fact, now that the elections are over, we can expect that legislatures with left wing majorities will only become more aggressive.
We can look at the proposed legislation for 2021 in just two states to understand that where progressives will push law enforcement reform, it will.
Illinois Criminal Justice Reform Bill
If Illinois is an indicator for how left wing government intends to reimagine policing in 2021, then legislation around the country will focus on restricting the force available to officers when apprehending or interacting with a suspect.
On January 8th, the Illinois state legislature’s Black Caucus introduced Bill 163, “a sweeping criminal justice omnibus bill that aims to heavily alter the state of policing in Illinois,” according to the Canton Daily Ledger. The paper reports that the bill was introduced on short notice but is the product of over 100 hours of hearings to end “to end systemic racism in Illinois.” One of the primary targets of the legislation is the use of force. “In general terms, HB163 mandates peace officers ‘use deadly force only when reasonably necessary in defense of human life.’” This includes banning chokeholds and restraints that may impact breathing, using tear gas without warning, using force on a fleeing subject if they are not an imminent danger, and firing non-lethal projectiles at the head, back, groin, or into a crowd.
This bill greatly restricts not only the ability to apprehend a potentially violent and evasive suspect but would also greatly restrict subduing a crowd. This bill is a radical reimagination of policing, one that The Illinois Fraternal Order of Police called “the worst thing to happen to our profession” and “the end of the law enforcement profession as we know it.”
Washington State Police Reform Bill
Where Illinois may be an indicator of how many legislatures may begin to restrict the protocols of police when dealing with dangerous suspects, Washington state is likely an indicator for how “police oversight” will also be part of the left wing reformation of policing.
According to Patch.com, the Washington state legislature already had three police reform bills slated for the first session of 2020. The first of which, “would require officers or deputies to step in if they determine a fellow officer has used excessive force.” In other words, instead of being trusted to do their work, police may now be expected to police each other in the line of duty. Who will decide what constitutes excessive force? This could potentially lead a slippery slope as policing becomes further politicized.
The next bill would “require more transparency for ‘Brady lists,’ kept by prosecutors, which track officers whose past actions may affect their credibility and require departments to determine if recent hires were previously on such lists.” What will be considered misconduct in the days ahead where police are expected to now answer to Leftist Social Justice initiatives before the Law and their own safety?
Finally, the third bill will “mandate the state auditor’s office to review deadly force investigations to ensure they adhere to the standards established by Initiative 940.” Initiative 940 was passed in 2018, and focuses on de-escalation over lethal force, going so far as having a provision to compel investigators to consider “what a reasonable officer would have done,” in the event of the use of lethal force, according to King 5.
More Radical Police Reform Bills Coming…
The proposals being put forward in these two state legislatures offer a snapshot of what is likely to come to state legislatures nationwide. Wherever the radical left wing has an entrenched position will be where these bills will gain traction and potentially pass. These are not designed to make communities safer, they are designed to tie the hands of police when in a potentially life or death situation. They create more burden on police when they are dealing with fluid situations, and ultimately threaten to hijack the profession of policing with a burdensome bureaucracy that operates on a purely ideological basis.
Image Credit: Photo by Felix Koutchinski on Unsplash
As the government seems to grow even greater in size and power every year, our individual rights and our Constitution appear to become more marginalized in the process. This could not be truer when it comes to the 2nd Amendment.