PRESS RELEASE: Bolding Seeks Transparency and Accountability in Police Use-of-Deadly Force Probes
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 2, 2021
PHOENIX— House Democratic Leader Reginald Bolding on Monday introduced House Bill 2765 to require third-party oversight into an officer’s use of deadly force with key support from Attorney General Mark Brnovich. Currently in Arizona, when a deadly officer-involved shooting or use-of-force incident occurs, the investigation is often conducted by the same law enforcement agency.
If enacted, the legislation would require an outside law enforcement agency, the Attorney General’s Office, or a County Attorney from another county to investigate an officer’s use of deadly force. After the investigation is complete, the results would be presented to the County Attorney of the county where the incident occurred. Similar legislation has recently been proposed and adopted in Utah, Illinois, and Wisconsin.
"If we are going to restore the trust between law enforcement and the communities that they are supposed to serve and protect, we must ensure that officers who engage in police brutality or improperly use deadly force are held accountable," said Bolding, D-Phoenix, who has proposed several police reform bills. "You cannot objectively say that's the case in Arizona. This is a simple, common-sense step in the right direction to avoid conflicts of interest and ensure fairness and accountability. We greatly appreciate Attorney General Brnovich's support in this effort."
“Transparency and accountability should not be partisan issues,” said Attorney General Brnovich. “Our law enforcement officers work hard to protect us each day and they are required to make split second decisions in the line of duty. It is in everyone’s best interest to maintain public confidence in the investigations following officer-involved shootings.”
Background on independent investigations of deadly use of force (maybe rework header to reflect info below)
Last year, Representative Bolding along with several of his Democratic colleagues, called for a special session to address a number of police reform issues, including requiring the investigation of a law enforcement officer’s use of deadly force to be conducted by a different jurisdiction from where the officer is employed.
Similarly, Attorney General Brnovich called for third party oversight in the investigations of officer-involved shootings and excessive use of force.