PRESS STATEMENT: Tuesday, May 25, 2021
CONTACT: Morgan Keller, Communications Director, ACLU of Delaware, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
On Tuesday, May 25, 2021, Delaware’s General Assembly announced the filing of three police accountability bills aimed at revising the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights and the governance of use of force by police.
The ACLU of Delaware, Delaware Campaign for Smart Justice and Delaware: Police Accountability NOW campaign support Senate Bills 147 and 148, led by Senator Marie Pinkney, and Senate Bill 149, led by Senate Majority Whip, Senator Elizabeth “Tizzy” Lockman. Our statements on these bills are below.
The statement below is attributable to Haneef Salaam, ACLU of Delaware’s Campaign for Smart Justice manager:
“Under Delaware’s current Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights (LEOBOR) statute, the public is not guaranteed any transparency in any police-involved incident, making public access to police investigations nearly impossible. LEOBOR also prevents community-led groups, such as community oversight boards, from effectively reviewing, investigating, and disciplining officers in misconduct cases. That’s why we recommended changes to LEOBOR that will address these critical issues, and we’re glad to see those recommendations incorporated into Senator Lockman’s SB 149.”
The statement below is attributable to Javonne Rich, ACLU of Delaware’s policy advocate:
“People in all communities should be able to live their lives without having to fear violence at the hands of police. Currently, Delaware’s use of force law is written so broadly that an officer could, theoretically, use force in almost any situation as long as they believe they might be in danger — whether or not they actually are. We need systemic change to reprogram officers’ behavior so that they respond to situations in a way that protects human life, and Senator Pinkney's bills, SB 147 and 148, are two good first steps in that direction.”