DC Passes ‘Emergency’ Police Reform Giving Inmates Voting Rights

The District of Columbia Council has passed emergency legislation to reform DC Metro Police after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The bill has not been formalized but is calling for voting rights to jailed inmates and will also make changes to how police conduct searches and make arrests.

The current bill is a revised version of a June 9th bill that would have gone into effect earlier this week.

WUSA9 reported on the changes:

Under the original bill, the police department would have been forced to turn over the names and footage of any officer involved in a deadly incident. The department now has five days to do so and has an Aug. 15 deadline to release the names and footage of any officer involved in such incident since body cameras were put in place in 2014.

The revision also allows family members of those killed to prevent any footage from going public. Also included in that revision is use of force. Originally, officers would only have been allowed to use force to apprehend a suspect if there was probable cause they committed a crime. After concerns from Metropolitan Police Chief Peter Newsham, that language has been removed.

Last month’s legislation banning the MPD’s use of tear gas on protesters, banning the hiring of police officers with a history of misconduct, and making all matters pertaining to police discipline non-negotiable will remain the same.

The June 9th bill was panned by the DC Police Union and said the bill puts police in danger and at a disadvantage when trying to do their jobs.

“It’s beyond comprehension that an entire deliberative body of legislators would so hastily make such extreme changes without the proper input and review,” the union statement said.

“What we saw today was a disservice to the citizens of the District of Columbia who have been plagued with violent crime for years,” the statement said. “The Councilmembers are seizing on the public sentiment to impose these changes that will significantly handicap the department for years to come.”

The statement also said the bill made it “incredibly more difficult to charge a suspect with assaulting a police officer.”

If you live in a city, it’s time to move out.

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