Lesley Dahlkemper

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First step, senate bill 20-217, but not that, the real statutes.

before: https://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/images/olls/crs2019-title-24.pdf

basic changes: https://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2020A/bills/2020a_217_enr.pdf

now: https://advance.lexis.com/container?config=0345494EJAA5ZjE0MDIyYy1kNzZkLTRkNzktYTkxMS04YmJhNjBlNWUwYzYKAFBvZENhdGFsb2e4CaPI4cak6laXLCWyLBO9&crid=b6ba5dee-dace-435e-ab4e-bd6d0edf9dba&prid=b47f8950-8b09-4abe-8a22-7a34c782ec0a

I read Colorado Senate Bill 20-217 some time ago but did not reconcile it with current laws until now. Earlier, I was amazed by it and now I am even more overwhelmed. Why it happened and that happened is huge.

It will have huge repercussions in Colorado and it will be watched closely elsewhere. Its biggest impact may be that hiring good people will be even harder and more expensive. But the old guard–management–will be severely challenged. Change will be very difficult in a place like Jefferson County because it is so ingrained. The number of complaints and lawsuits will skyrocket so much that it may be reaching too far. Lawyers will get rich.

The final changes are:

  • Use of force is eliminated, confined, defined, and regulated. Intervention may be required. Detailed.
  • Bodycams are required (Jeffco has them; elsewhere by 7/1/23) and public release is required with a complaint. Strict rules apply to failure, editing, etc.
  • The state department of Public Safety, Division of Criminal Justice is required to create an online database and annual report relating to all contacts* including numerous case specifics. State Patrol and local law enforcement must provide the information.
  • Civil action for deprivation of rights pertaining to police action is allowed. “Qualified immunity is not a defense.”
  • A lot is pushed (back) onto P.O.S.T. (police officer something training); some of it may have teeth. A database including “untruthfulness” and other items is required (reported only by law enforcement).
  • Miscellaneous items such as actions prohibited against protesters, police officer accreditation, and definitions.

*My interpretation. Senate bill reads “contacts;” statute reads “All data relating to contacts and entries into a residence, including a forcible entry, conducted by its peace officers, including…” The new law includes a revision to “contact” as an “in-person interaction.” If it is not all contacts it is use of force; resignation while under investigation; contact with forcible entry; and unannounced entries.

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