(UnitedVoice.com) – House Democrats are unveiling a police reform bill on June 8. It’s unclear if the Democrats are serious about the bill or if it’s a political stunt to capitalize on the state of unrest around police. One thing is clear: if passed, the law could force cities to defund police departments whether they want to or not.
Cities across the country are currently discussing dissolving or reducing police budgets. There are rumors of police officers quitting or retiring early under pressure from the public and local Democratic politicians.
As of the morning of June 8, Democrats have not worked in a bipartisan manner to gather votes from Republicans, whom they would need support from in the Republican-led Senate. Republicans have suggested any reforms would be nothing more than political games. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) did say there is a role for Congress to play and that lawmakers needed to discuss the appropriate actions to take, if any.
The discussion about the police was once about methods and outcomes. Now, it’s about if they are even wanted or needed.
What Are Democrats Proposing
Democrats are proposing the elimination of decades-old laws and implementing public policy changes regarding how police officers do their jobs. To the dissatisfaction of many Liberals, the one missing item on their list is defunding police. But, is defunding absent, or is there a backdoor method to accomplish that goal?
The bill is titled, “Justice in Policing Act of 2020,” and it prohibits the use of chokeholds, reduces legal standards so the public can pursue civil actions for police misconduct, and bans certain no-knock warrants. Additionally, the plan would also create a national registry to track police misconduct.
Congressional Democrats Way of Helping Defund Police Without the Stigma
Proponents of the bill say that it is a common sense, first step to change how policing is done. However, the proposed law may also be a way for Congress to indirectly help cities defund their police departments. By reducing legal standards for civil suits, it would likely cause a significantly higher cost to local governments.
Worker’s compensation and liability insurance are some of the most substantial police expenses for local governments. This proposed legislation would make it even worse, potentially causing cities to cut back police services or increase taxes to pay for the new expenses.
The politics of this is going to be interesting. If Democrats are laying a trap for Republicans, let’s hope they’re ready for it.
By Don Purdum, Freelance Contributor
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