State law makers discuss more police reform legislation

There are four legislative concepts in discussion.

Posted: Aug 3, 2020 12:33 AM

SALEM, Ore.-- Lawmakers in the state capital are discussing more police reform bills that could drastically change police in Oregon.

The Joint Committee on Transparent Policing and Use of Force Reform held multiple public hearings last week about four legislative concepts. Senator James Manning Jr. co-chairs the committee and he said Oregonians across the state and demanding some sort of reform after weeks of protests.

"They have made it extremely clear they want transparent policing and use of force reform," Manning said.

Here are the four legislative concepts.

LC 742: Relating to the use of tools by law enforcement agencies

This proposal would ban law enforcement from using chemical incapacitants on crowds but would allow the use of pepper spray if a local mayor or sheriff declares a riot. Law enforcement also cannot use impact munitions to disperse crowds. The proposal would allow officers one of those tools on those who are posing a threat or are committing a felony.

This proposal also would ban law enforcement from using force on journalists, legal observers, medical personal, and the homeless.

LC 743: Relating to police officer uniforms and identification

This potential bill would require law enforcement to wear lighter colored clothing instead of dark blues and blacks. It would also require officers to wear their names and badge numbers on their bodies. A unique identification number would also be required for all patrol cars.

LC 744: Relating to police officer misconduct

This proposal would authorize the Bureau of Labor and Industries to investigate misconduct allegations.

LC 745: Relating to the use of force by police officers

This proposal would close a loophole in a recently passed law that allowed officers to use a chokehold when they are authorized to use force. Chokeholds would be banned altogether.

Manning said these proposals not only address activist's demand's but it will also help police do their jobs.

"Our officers deserve clarity and understanding," Manning said.

Legislative concepts are just that, a concept. All four still have to be presented to the house and that's when they become a bill. From there the bills will go into committee again before heading for a vote to send it to the governor's desk. However, this will not happen unless another special session is convened or during a regular legislative session.

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