The Colorado chapter of Moms Demand Action, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the following statement after a hearing in the Senate State Affairs Committee on SB20-217, Measures To Enhance Law Enforcement Integrity:
“It’s long past time we address the systemic injustices that have subjected Black people in America and in Colorado to higher rates of gun violence and police violence,” said Laura Reeves, volunteer with the Colorado chapter of Moms Demand Action. “I’m grateful to our lawmakers – and to partners and advocates who have led the charge – for working toward policies that will improve public safety, reduce shootings by police, foster community trust, and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone in Colorado.”
The introduction of SB20-217 comes in response to widespread protests in Colorado and across the country following the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. Black people in the United States are far more likely to be shot and killed by law enforcement than their white counterparts, and data from The Guardian shows that most people killed by police are killed with guns. According to Mapping Police Violence, Black Americans are shot and killed by police at three times the rate of white Americans, and 227 people have been fatally shot by police between 2013 and 2019 in Colorado.
Research finds that meaningful use of force policies reduce police shootings, including provisions in SB20-217. In addition to a revised standard for when a law enforcement officer is justified in using deadly physical force, SB20-217 also includes important provisions such as the requirement that all law enforcement officers are provided body-worn cameras and that recordings from body-worn cameras are promptly released to the public following an incident, and the development of a public database that includes comprehensive data about all use of force incidents and the requirement that law enforcement regularly report all such uses of force to the Attorney General.