The Delaware chapter of Moms Demand Action, part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement applauding Delaware Senate Majority Whip Elizabeth Lockman and Senator Marie Pinkney for introducing a package of bills that would remove barriers that shield Delaware police officers from being held accountable in instances of misconduct, create a statewide use of force standard, and properly empower civilian review boards to investigate and respond to police misconduct.
“We’re happy to see that the legislature is taking action to bring much-needed, long-overdue transparency to our state’s policing system,” said Mara Gorman, a volunteer with the Delaware chapter of Moms Demand Action. “The change we need is foundational, and ensuring public access to disciplinary records and giving civilians a strong voice in police oversight are critical. We are thankful that the Senate is taking strides like these that will go a long way towards creating a more accountable system and safer, better protected communities within our state.”
ABOUT THE BILLS:
- SB 149 would amend sections of the Delaware Law-Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights (LEOBR) to make law enforcement misconduct records available to the public for the first time in 25 years, including disciplinary records, complaints, allegations and charges filed against officers, as well as transcripts and factual findings from disciplinary hearings or trials. The bill would also allow state law enforcement agencies to empower a community review board to hear and decide disciplinary matters involving law enforcement.
- SB 148 would expand the responsibilities of the Division of Civil Rights and Public Trust to require the Division to investigate all law enforcement officer use of force incidents which result in serious physical injury.
- SB 147 would create a statewide Use of Force standard which requires a “reasonableness” evaluation of a law enforcement officer’s actions in determining whether the amount of force used is justified and would include the use of a chokehold into the definition of “deadly force”
Black people are nearly three times more likely to be shot and killed by police than white people. According to Mapping Police Violence, 22 people were killed by police in Delaware between 2013 and 2020. Nationally, 95% of killings by police are caused with a firearm.