Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed new police accountability legislation into law on Friday that would create new officer requirements including body cameras and limits on deadly force.
The move -- coinciding with the June 19 holiday Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery in the United States -- makes Colorado the first state to codify broad policing reform since the start of nationwide protests decrying police brutality, the Democratic governor said.
What the bill says: The bill requires that all police officers use activated body cameras or dashboard cameras during service calls or officer-initiated public interactions. It also bars officers from using deadly force against those suspected of minor or non-violent offenses, requires officers to intervene should they witness another officer using excessive physical force and establishes new data reporting on the use of force.
The measure specifically bans officers from using chokeholds, a long-controversial technique, particularly following the death of Eric Garner in 2014 when a police officer was accused of choking him. The death of George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer restrained him by pressing a knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes, has prompted nationwide protests.
The bill also designates qualified immunity -- a legal doctrine that critics say shields law enforcement from accountability and has garnered recent attention -- as an unacceptable defense against liability for violating a person's rights.
"This legislation specifically contains landmark, evidence-based reforms that not only protect civil rights but will help restore trust between law enforcement and the communities that they serve," Polis said during the bill signing Friday.
Colorado joins several other states and localities that have moved to reassess their police rules and regulations following widespread protests across the US.
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