Ben Margiott

Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016

Democratic lawmakers sponsor bills to increase police transparency, accountability

Two Democratic state lawmakers have teamed up to address the growing concerns over police accountability and transparency in the wake of controversial officer-involved shootings.

House Representatives Reginald Bolding (D-27) and Ken Clark (D-24) announced house bills 2649 and 2650 Monday morning.

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Rep. Bolding sponsored HB 2649, which would create a statewide database to track the disciplinary actions of law enforcement officers across all state agencies. He hopes this would prevent “bad-apple” officers from easily jumping between agencies without an extensive background check of their career.

HB 2650, sponsored by Rep. Clark, would require that investigations into deadly officer-involved shootings be performed by an independent agency , not the agency that was involved.

“You’ve got people in the community who feel, ‘We see all these police-involved shootings and the outcome always seems to be the same,’” Rep. Clark said. “They don’t feel like the process itself is trustworthy. We feel like this is a very simple fix.”

Both bills were so recently introduced that they have not been assigned to a committee.