Second Judical District
201 W, Colfax Ave, Dept. 801
Denver, CO 80202
June 12, 2020 Contact: Carolyn Tyler, Communications Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 720-913-9025
DENVER—Colorado House Bill 20-217, the Enhance Law Enforcement Integrity bill, is on a fast track for passage this week. Denver District Attorney Beth McCann today issued the below statement in support of the bill becoming law.
“The outcry surrounding the killing of George Floyd has catapulted the calls for racial justice into the national and local spotlight and that is a good thing. Colorado’s legislators are responding to those calls by uniting around HB-217 which contains many positive reforms that are long overdue such as banning the use of chokeholds, eliminating the ‘fleeing felon defense’ when peace officers use deadly force, requiring more body worn cameras and requiring better data collection. I am committed to holding members of law enforcement accountable for criminal behavior and this bill addresses many of the public’s demands for accountability and transparency.
I am proud to have contributed to an amendment that is now part of the bill’s language that will require a final public report to be issued when a Grand Jury investigation into an allegation of excessive force against a peace officer does not result in an indictment. Along with other provisions, this amendment will increase the public’s understanding of these incidents and hopefully help to restore trust in the criminal justice system. I do, however, have serious concerns that the personal liability provision for peace officers will have a chilling effect on retaining and hiring talented people to do this important and dangerous work.
Bill sponsors Senator Rhonda Fields, Senator Leroy Garcia, Representative Leslie Herod and Representative Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez, as well as the many stakeholders, are to be commended for their hard work. I look forward to working with the Colorado Attorney General’s office, the Denver Police Department and others to implement this important bill.
As Denver’s elected district attorney, this office holds the power to influence how justice is administered and how the public perceives justice. All of us at the Denver DA’s Office are committed to doing that in a fair and equitable manner and to be transparent so that we earn the public’s trust.”
# # #