Police Abuse

Colorado Police Reforms Mandate Body Cameras, Strip Bad Officers of Lawsuit Immunity

The legislation rolls back regulations that have been shielding bad police from accountability.

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A long list of policing reforms has just been ushered into law in Colorado.

This morning, Democratic Gov. Jared Polis signed the Law Enforcement Integrity Bill, passed by the state's House and Senate last weekend. The legislation, S.B. 217, includes changes that criminal justice reformers have been demanding for years:

  • It will require officers to wear body cameras and to record interactions with the public that are initiated by the officer. (There are some exceptions to avoid recording personal information or unrelated contacts.) If the officer fails to follow this rule, statements or other evidence presented by that officer may be ruled inadmissible in court; the officer may also face discipline up to and including termination. If it's determined that a cop turned off a camera to conceal misconduct or obstruct justice, the officer's certification may be suspended for up to a year. If the incident involves the death of a civilian, the officer's certification may be permanently revoked. The bill includes a process for making body camera footage public and for redacting private information that the footage may have captured.
  • It will launch a database of police use-of-force incidents, documenting the type and severity of the force used, demographic data about the people subjected to the force, and instances where a police officer resigned while being investigated for misconduct. The state will host this database online in a searchable format.
  • It forbids officers from firing less-than-lethal projectiles (such as rubber or foam bullets) at a protester's head, pelvis, or back, and it bars cops from firing indiscriminately into crowds of protesters. When police use pepper spray or tear gas to disperse protests, they will be required to warn people first—and to give them time to comply with the orders before firing.
  • It will strip police officers of qualified immunity in civil court if they are sued for violating people's rights or for failing to intervene when they witness another officer violating a person's rights. These officers may be held personally liable. There is a two-year statute of limitation on filing a civil action against an officer under such circumstances.
  • It will formalize officers' duty to attempt to prevent excessive force by other police officers, will forbid law enforcement agencies from retaliating against officers who intervene in such cases, and will establish a misdemeanor offense for officers who fail to intervene.
  • It will establish an oversight board to examine police use of force. The oversight board will maintain a database of problem officers who have been caught engaging in misconduct or have been terminated.

"Millions of Americans have become part of our nation's largest civil rights demonstrations in half a century," Polis said in a speech before signing the bill. "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."

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  1. When police use pepper spray or tear gas to disperse protests, they will be required to warn people first—and to give them time to comply with the orders before firing.

    Like a battering ram in a SWAT raid?

    “P*smash*bang*bang*bang*olice!”

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  2. It will strip police officers of qualified immunity in civil court if they are sued for violating people’s rights or for failing to intervene when they witness another officer violating a person’s rights.

    I want quality followup journalism on this on. I want to see how this works in practice. I’m the first to admit, this feels awfully good, but I’m wondering how Union lawyers are already crafting their attack.

    1. It’s right there in the headline, only the BAD cops will have their immunity stripped. No good cops will ever be sued by litigious dirtbags, ever.

  3. It will establish an oversight board to examine police use of force. The oversight board will maintain a database of problem officers who have been caught engaging in misconduct or have been terminated.

    I suspect this one will end up being completely toothless.

  4. There *is* a dark side to the bill, namely the requirement that officers be personally responsible for the first $100,000 of any judgement; professional liability insurance is specifically prohibited.

    I’m no fan of cops, but that there is some shitty legislatin’

    1. I’ve skimmed the bill and don’t see that in there. Do you know what provision it is?

      1. FAKE NEWS!
        Or partially fake. Seems the bill was watered-down from the committee text I read, which had the $100,000 personal liability. 13-21-131.4 now reads: “…THE PEACE OFFICER IS PERSONALLY LIABLE AND SHALL NOT BE INDEMNIFIED BY THE PEACE OFFICER’S EMPLOYER FOR FIVE PERCENT OF THE JUDGMENT OR SETTLEMENT OR TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS, WHICHEVER IS LESS. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY PROVISION OF THIS SECTION TO THE CONTRARY, IF THE PEACE OFFICER’S PORTION OF THE JUDGMENT IS UNCOLLECTIBLE FROM THE PEACE OFFICER, THE PEACE OFFICER’S EMPLOYER OR INSURANCE SHALL SATISFY THE FULL AMOUNT OF THE JUDGMENT OR SETTLEMENT.”

        So the cop has to cough up the first 25 grand, and insurance can only be used “if the peace officer’s portion of the judgement is uncollectible”.

        Now…as usual for the statutes Colorado Dems are shoving through these days, the wording is complete crap. On re-reading this text, the term “personally liable” is ambiguous and probably litigatable. Also: is the backstop insurance the cop’s employers, or can his own kick in. And who decides if the copper’s portion is uncollectible?

        1. And who decides if the copper’s portion is uncollectible?

          The cop.

        2. I agree that the insurance wording could be much better.

          I think the cop is only on the hook for the first 5% (or $25,000) “IF THE PEACE OFFICER’S EMPLOYER DETERMINES THAT THE OFFICER DID NOT ACT UPON A GOOD FAITH AND REASONABLE BELIEF THAT THE ACTION WAS LAWFUL.” Otherwise, “A PEACE
          OFFICER’S EMPLOYER SHALL INDEMNIFY ITS PEACE OFFICERS FOR ANY LIABILITY INCURRED BY THE PEACE OFFICER AND FOR ANY JUDGMENT OR SETTLEMENT ENTERED AGAINST THE PEACE OFFICER FOR CLAIMS ARISING PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION.”

          1. Yep, you’re right. The statute is much changed from the original that I read. That section’s pretty toothless — basically gives the PD the ability to hang an officer out to dry, *if* they feel like it.

  5. Anyone curious why it doesn’t go into effect until 2023?

    1. You always want legislation with possible nasty second-order effects to kick in years down the road.

      1. There’s probably a mandate and a penaltax we all have to pay that kicks in after

    2. I believe only the body camera requirement and some of the reporting requirements don’t go into effect until 2023. Other provisions go into effect either immediately or as specified in Section 18.

      The delay in the body camera requirement makes sense–it takes time to get everything purchased and everyone trained. The lengthy delay in the reporting requirements is harder to explain (some delay makes sense, but three years seems like a little much) and a shame. It would be nice to have a solid database before and after the camera requirement went into effect, even if it would likely be affected by some officers wearing cameras ahead of the requirement.

      1. If it’s determined that a cop turned off a camera to conceal misconduct or obstruct justice, the officer’s certification may be suspended for up to a year. If the incident involves the death of a civilian, the officer’s certification may be permanently revoked.

        Those are awfully weak penalties. Turning off the camera should result in job loss or a non-suspendible jail sentence. Causing a death should carry several years minimum sentence.

        1. Perhaps they should be stronger, but note that those are just the penalties for turning off the camera. That’s not the only penalty for causing the death of a civilian.

    3. I’ll take a stab at it: The original Dem. bill specifically excluded state employees (e.g., Colorado State Patrol). The thinking was even the spendthrift Dems understood the state couldn’t afford the subsequent lawsuits and insurance rates. Since that part’s been taken out, I’m guessing they postponed implementation until the state was in better shape, financially.

  6. How harsh will the punishment be for turning off the body cams? If you’re creating a lot of incentive for them to do so, you’d better balance it out by punishing people for questionable gaps in recordings.

  7. Is there a reason this story couldn’t be illustrated with a photo of a protest taking place in Colorado? (The picture is definitely not from Denver and I’m 90% sure it’s not from Boulder or Colorado Springs either, at which point you’ve basically ruled out every place in Colorado where you were likely to have both a BLM/George Floyd protest and a building of the size of the one on the left.)

    1. Reason couldn’t find a Colorado BLM protest photo that contained actual black people…

      1. It’s true, because it’s funny.

  8. Score one point for the hypothesis that long term police reform is less likely in a one-party legislature (like Chicago or New York) and more likely in a legislature where two parties contend for control by competing with each other for votes.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado_General_Assembly

    The ultimate reason for union contracts that protect the police from accountability in Chicago, Minneapolis, New York City, etc. is the Democratic party machines that have run these cities for generations, and the ultimate reason why these cities have been run by one-party governments for so long is because of the unwillingness of voters in those cities to vote for anyone unless they’re nominated by the Democratic Party.

    Show me a city where the government is only run by one party, and I’ll show you a government that’s run for the benefit of the public employees’, teachers’, and law enforcement unions that dominate the nominating process.

    If you live in a city that has been dominated by the Democratic party for generations and you still refuse to vote for anyone running for city council that isn’t nominated by the Democrats, then the ultimate blame for the persistence of unaccountability of the police in your city is you.

    1. In Seattle, they do have some voter diversity. When people get sick of the Democrats, they vote socialist party.

      1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seattle_City_Council

        Yeah, they’ve got a real, live Socialist. Minneapolis has someone from the Green Party.

        For a while, Chicago had one Alderman who was a Republican. If he hadn’t been endorsed by all the law enforcement unions, he probably wouldn’t have won–and he’s since changed his party identification to “Independent”.

        1. P.S. Independent in this context means, “ineffectual”.

          Caucusing with others to get legislation passed and defeat the legislation of others is what it takes to be effective in a legislature. This is why I’m so unimpressed with Amash. He could have led the libertarian charge into colonizing his party. Instead, he fell on his sword. If he destroyed his influence on the Republican party out of principle, that just makes it worse. That’s one less libertarian for the Republican establishment to worry about.

          Eleanor Rigby
          Died in the church and was buried along with her name
          Nobody came
          Father McKenzie
          Wiping the dirt from his hands as he walks from the grave
          No one was saved

    2. WTF? Colorado Dems control both houses plus the governor. With the Californification of Colorado, there’s every reason to think the state will *never* again see Republican control. And the Dems know this.

      1. You don’t recognize the difference between a senate with a bare majority and a house, control of which can sway back and forth between the parties–on one hand–and city councils like Chicago, Minneapolis, and New York–on the other hand–where the Democrats have controlled more than 90% of the city council for more than 50 years?!

        China and Cuba also have one-party governments, and the people who sit in their councils don’t care what the voters want for the same reason–and, no, it isn’t because they don’t hold elections.
        It’s because winning office doesn’t depend on catering to the voters.

        Winning a place on the council in one-party systems depends on pleasing the dominant forces within the party that decide who is and who isn’t nominated for a position of authority. And that’s the way it is in Chicago, Minneapolis, and New York City. For goodness’ sake, the Chicago police have been beating the shit out of protesters since the Democratic convention of 1968. The police in New York City have been beating the shit out of peaceful protesters since at least Stonewall and Tompkins Square.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tompkins_Square_Park_riot_(1988)#Police_actions

        The city council won’t stop protecting the police from accountability–over the long term–at the expense of minorities and everyone else until they believe they might lose their seats and control of the city council if they don’t stop approving union contracts that protect the police from accountability. And they won’t come to believe that if the people who vote in city council elections won’t vote for Democrats anymore. It’s as simple as that.

        In a democracy, there is no good substitute for voters who are willing to vote for the opposition when the people in power treat them like shit. If like a battered house wife, you bail your abuser out of jail over and over again and let him back in the house, there’s nothing anyone can do to protect you. We can feel for you, but maybe that’s part of the problem. Maybe you need to hear the truth, especially if the truth is that the reason these one-party states have been fucking you in the ass for 50 years is because you let them.

        1. You don’t recognize the difference between a senate with a bare majority and a house

          With all due respect (and I respect your opinions a great deal), you don’t understand Colorado politics. Colorado *is* a one-party state and there’s no reason to believe that will change, especially with the massive influx of Californians and East Coasters, all longing to make Colorado more like home. And the Dems here act accordingly — there is not even a veneer of bipartisanship.

          I think you’re saying that things here aren’t at the machine politics stage. May I refer you to Michelle Malkin and “Rocky Mountain Heist”? (Yes, yes, MM’s supposedly a virulent racist. Whatever.)

          1. I hope my point is getting across. If the outcome of two elections go to the Republicans next time, the Democrats will lose control of that chamber. That is fundamentally different than a place like Chicago or Minneapolis, where I’m not sure there are many people alive today who can remember what it was like when the Republicans were running things. You may have to go back to before the Great Depression, FDR, and World War II.

            On the tangentially related topic of Californians, I’d like to mention that about a third of Californians voted for President Trump in 2016, and Republicans may be overly represented among those who flee the state for places like Colorado. They may dress funny, eat strange food, be physically indistinguishable from latte swilling liberals at a glance, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re Democrats.

            All indications are that Millennials tend to flee more diverse areas when they have kids–just like their white flight parents and grandparents did. It’s expensive to do that in California, so they tend to go to places like Boise, ID, Bolder CO, Flagstaff, AZ, and Greenville, SC, when they do so. There are millions of would-be gun toting, off-roading, tax hating, school choice loving Californians in California. Say hello to one sometime, when they move to Colorado, and maybe you’ll make a friend.

            1. I have no belief the direction here will change. As soon as is feasible, I will take my family and flee. (My kids are 5th generation Coloradoans — hell, my ancestors were part of the founding families of freakin Aspen.)

              This place sucks and is getting suckier by the minute.

              1. My folks & grandparents are western slopers thankfully. I’d love to go back but too god damn many elitist assholes in Telluride now.

            2. No Ken. The Californians who have moved here are absolutely the fucking problem now. You put everything into DeRp terms. Where apparently all R’s are friend and all D’s are foe. It’s crap and petty.

              Californians problems – at the individual level – go MUCH deeper than that. At core, they are an invasive species who are actually incapable of realizing that they even are now in a place that isn’t just somewhere-else CA. The only ones who are worth a shit, at the individual level, are the under-30’s. That age group is not as infected with their CA views of everything/themselves as the older. Course they are also young and stupid too but that’s normal for that age group.

              1. I owe you a beer for that reply.

              2. Your emotions are very important to you, I’m sure.

                Here’s the best study I can find on this:

                https://escholarship.org/uc/item/96j2704t

                Those leaving California (and considering leaving) apparently skew heavily Republican and conservative.

                “Partisanship and political ideology play a prominent role, with Democrats and liberals nearly three times as likely as Republicans and conservatives to describe California as one of the best places to live.

                The more conservative they are, the more likely they are to be considering leaving–because of the political culture, too.

                I have no doubt but that Californians drive up the cost of housing in the cities they move to, and even the conservatives want to eat guacamole toast, have a Chai latte, and shop at Whole Foods.

                You may imagine that bringing a higher cost of housing and a more hipster aesthetic is “ruining” Colorado (or wherever), but we’re probably not talking about political ideology being more liberal at that point. You’re probably just talking about the cost of housing and the aesthetics.

                1. P.S.

                  “Don’t count on migrating Californians to bring left-wing politics to their new homes”

                  —-Dallas Morning News

                  https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2020/01/30/dont-count-on-migrating-californians-to-bring-left-wing-politics-to-their-new-homes/

                2. Yes I know they skew R and conservative. And I’m sure that to you that means they are perfectly OK because you are totally trapped in your dumb little DeRp view of everything.

                  1. “Colorado *is* a one-party state and there’s no reason to believe that will change, especially with the massive influx of Californians . . . “

                    That’s what you wrote.

          2. Colorado’s lurch to the left is less than 20 years old. Yes some californication, but it has also been due to Soros pouring billions of dollars into organizing at the local level there.

            If the Kochs would take some time to do the same for Libertarians, we might have done the same for New Hampshire. Oh well.

            1. If you consider “Reason” to be their mouthpiece, the Kochs aren’t really that libertarian. More in the Chamber of Commerce Republican vein.

              1. Or the Woketarian Bake The Cake Orange Man Bad Some Big Gubmint is Good for Us variety

                1. My version is more succinct.

            2. What many forget waas that Colorado leaned Democratic during the 1970’s and 1980’s.

              Look up the names Romer and Lamm.

    3. Ken, you are straining to find some reason, any reason, not to give Democrats credit for adopting some substantive police reforms.

      They aren’t perfect, but they are a step in the right direction IMO.

      You know when some people around here refuse to give Trump credit for a few genuinely beneficial things that he’s done, because they just hate Trump so much? Well, that’s the mirror image of you in this case.

      When Team Blue in Colorado does something substantive to rein in police abuse, we should celebrate that. When Team Red in DC does something substantive to rein in regulatory abuse, we should celebrate that.

      1. “Ken, you are straining to find some reason, any reason, not to give Democrats credit for adopting some substantive police reforms.”

        —-chemjeff radical individualist

        You wrote this in response to:

        “Score one point for the hypothesis that long term police reform is less likely in a one-party legislature (like Chicago or New York) and more likely in a legislature where two parties contend for control by competing with each other for votes.”

        —-Ken Shultz

        Assuming you have a problem with reading comprehension is giving you the benefit of the doubt.

    4. I live in one of those cities. Denver in fact. And you really don’t know shit other than some BS talking point for the R’s.

      One-party systems here in the US are NOT the result of robot voters. They are the result of the failure of second/third parties to engage in meaningful opposition at the local level. ‘Meaningful opposition’ meaning – I don’t give a fuck about your views on abortion, gold standard, global warming, war on terror, immigration and all the other shit that occupies political interest at the national level. Nor does it mean nominating someone who no one previously knew even existed because they never actually had any opinions on anything voiced outside their circle of family/friends. At the local level, the issues are schools, roads, police, taxes/budgets, transit, etc. And whatever one’s proposals on any of those, they better be based on something that is doable not merely wild-eyed ideological ranting from someone who has never actually done anything or even been at those muni meetings.

      Most muni politics here in Denver is technically non-partisan. City council and mayor. I was an R when I first moved here. They had ZERO interest in local electoral stuff. Country-clubbers don’t need elections to get their sweetheart deals and ‘activists’ didn’t give a shit about anything local. A local media personality spouting off about something national is NOT local. So muni elections (which don’t take place in Nov either – to reinforce the non-partisan tinge cuz everything Nov is polluted with that) are decided with 25% or so turnout.

      Any election system with that low turnout means that someone (a party/faction) who may have an opposing side on a particular issue is not selling it to anyone. Which isn’t nec a bad thing since it is prob more productive to do that stuff as issues are being hashed out anyway – not to make it all about personalities, elections, promises of corruption. Except of course that DeRp’s ALWAYS fucking make it about the personalities/elections/promises of corruption. But only in the OTHER place. So R’s in exurbs/rural run against the evil socialist D’s in big cities. And vice versa. And it’s all bullshit. Vote for me cuz at least I’m not as evil as that other phantom over there. I may not know my ass from my elbow – but at least I don’t rape dead babies or goats or invade Poland or collectivize agriculture.

      1. “One-party systems here in the US are NOT the result of robot voters. They are the result of the failure of second/third parties to engage in meaningful opposition at the local level.”

        When was the last time Chicago had a government that wasn’t dominated by the Democratic party machine–was it before the Great Depression?!

        You go ahead and argue that the Republicans haven’t had a thing to say to engage the locals since 1929–and all the years since then. If you believe that, you’re stupid.

        1. I’ll tell you why Republicans haven’t been in charge in Chicago, or most other major cities, for a long time. Frankly they don’t give a shit about the problems and issues of the city itself. Republicans tend not to live in the city! They live in the burbs. The city isn’t a metropolis full of industry and innovation, but a headache stealing their tax money and making life worse. Maybe Republicans need to meet where voters are and actually give a shit about the cities that they are attached to in their suburbs. Maybe Republicans could actually move downtown and take part in city life instead of fleeing from it.

          1. Bullshit.

            Half the issue is that the party machine has been in control of Chicago since days of Al Capone. Those party machines are about getting people jobs at the expense of the taxpayers. Sometimes we’re talking about the police and firemen and other city employees. Sometimes we’re talking about construction that can’t get built because of various regulations unless it’s done with union labor because the city says so. You can’t have just anybody doing garbage pickup. We haven’t started talking about the teachers’ unions, the street sweepers, the snow plowers, the people working on the public transit system . . .

            All of those people have a vested interest in keeping the Democrats in power, and so long as the city keeps paying them, the Democrats are likely to stay in power. Last I checked, Chicago’s unfunded pension obligations were somewhere north of $135 billion–all that money is going to keep the Democrats in power by taxing the fuck out of voters. They treat their voters like toilet paper–because they can. It doesn’t matter how badly the Democrats treat the voters in Chicago–they’ve been voting for Democrats despite the way they’ve been treated for close to 100 years! Next, we need to start talking about all the food stamp recipients, all the rent subsidy people, all the people in government housing. They vote for Democrats because they’re afraid that if Republicans came to power, the money spigot would be shut off.

            The rest of them vote for the Democrats for the same reason they root for the Bears–only the Bears have treated them better than the Democrats ever have.

            1. Bullshit.

              Then where are all these Republicans living inside the city of Chicago whose voices are supposedly being squelched by Al Capone-style tactics? Hmm? Republicans for the most part just don’t live within Chicago proper. They live in the suburbs.

              The party machine keeping the graft flowing within the city of Chicago, or elsewhere, is a *consequence*, not a *cause*, of one party rule.

              Chicago has about 35,000 public employees. In 2016, there were 700,000 ballots cast in Chicago. I’m sorry to say that even if every one of those 35,000 public employees voted and voted for Democrats, it wouldn’t have swung the election. So, no, that’s not it.

              Next, we need to start talking about all the food stamp recipients, all the rent subsidy people, all the people in government housing. They vote for Democrats because they’re afraid that if Republicans came to power, the money spigot would be shut off.

              Umm, I think most people are at least smart enough to understand that food stamps are not controlled by the mayor of Chicago.

              Furthermore, this is an incredibly reductionist and facile view of voters. You and I are both tempted by the exact same motivations to vote for Democrats as anyone else, right? Won’t we get luxurious food stamps and rent subsidies and welfare benefits if we vote for Democrats? But we don’t, do we? No, it’s because our vote is not for sale at such a banal level. And if that is true for us, why can’t it be true for others? You give voters too little credit when you presume that their vote is simply bought by welfare. If that’s the case, then why can’t I also claim that Republican votes are bought by the promise of tax cuts?

              1. I’m sorry to say that even if every one of those 35,000 public employees voted and voted for Democrats, it wouldn’t have swung the election.

                That should say;

                I’m sorry to say that even if every one of those 35,000 public employees voted and voted for REPUBLICANS, it wouldn’t have swung the election.

              2. Okay, small correction.
                There were 1,090,343 votes cast in Chicago in 2016. Of those, 912,943 went for Clinton. The votes of the Chicago public employees did not tip the balance either way.

                https://chicagoelections.gov/en/election-results-specifics.asp

              3. “Chicago has about 35,000 public employees. In 2016, there were 700,000 ballots cast in Chicago. I’m sorry to say that even if every one of those 35,000 public employees voted and voted for Democrats, it wouldn’t have swung the election. So, no, that’s not it.

                You’re an ignoramus’ ignoramus.

                “The Chicago Federation of Labor (CFL) is an umbrella organization for unions in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It is a subordinate body of the AFL-CIO, and as of 2011 has about 320 affiliated member unions representing half a million union members in Cook County.

                The labor body is also involved in political lobbying, often in alliance with other allied organizations (e.g.,. Interfaith Worker Justice), is active in Chicago politics, and participates in many of Chicago’s civic committees (composed of business and city leaders).

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Federation_of_Labor

                The idea that unions dominate politics in Chicago is about as controversial as the idea that it’s easy to get wet when you go swimming.

                I already pointed out to you that there were more union members who profit from the city’s regulations than just the ones that work directly for the city, but why should you listen to or understand anything?

                You’re an ignoramus’ ignoramus, and that takes willpower. How else are you going to look up some numbers and come to the conclusion that unions don’t really dominate elections in Chicago? You have to want someone to explain to you that and how unions dominate the city’s politics–despite being willfully obtuse at the same time. It’s amazing when you think about it.

                You and Tony should go bowling.

                1. Jeff is as pure a partisan as there is. He ties himself in knots to try to make a point. You keep deconstructing his arguments, but he never sees the light. He is truly a lost soul.

                  1. The hilarious thing about this is that he’s guilty of the exact same mentality I’m criticizing. The first thing they do is “conclude” that they must vote for Democrats. Once they “conclude” that, they go looking for rationalizations to support their “conclusion”–not premises but rationalizations. Any “conclusion” can be rationalized if it’s assumed be true before you start looking for premises. That’s the sun and water that makes holocaust deniers and flat-earthers grow.

                    Ferrous Cranus is utterly impervious to reason, persuasion and new ideas, and when engaged in battle he will not yield an inch in his position regardless of its hopelessness. Though his thrusts are decisively repulsed, his arguments crushed in every detail and his defenses demolished beyond repair he will remount the same attack again and again with only the slightest variation in tactics.”

                    http://www.flamewarriorsguide.com/warriorshtm/ferouscranus.htm

                    If the persistence of unaccountability for police brutality is directly attributable to union contracts that have been negotiated and approved by Democrat party machines for generations, they still won’t vote for the opposition. And if the mentality of Democrat voters and their unwillingness to vote for anyone but Democrats is the ultimate cause for the persistence of unaccountability for police brutality, they still won’t vote for the Democrats’ opposition.
                    I’m not sure how to deprogram people in that state of mind, but ridicule may help others to see them for the way they are.

                    If the Reverend Moon had gotten to these people first, they might have spent their lives at the airport hassling strangers for change and giving it all to him. After all, once you assume [conclude] that the Reverend Moon is good, everything in support of that can be rationalized. The progressives got to these people first, though, so they spend their lives defending the Democrats and rationalizing that instead. I’d pity them if they were victims, but 1) the only thing that’s victimizing them is their own willful stupidity and 2) the real victims are the people who suffer from things like a persistent lack of accountability in police brutality cases because of their willful stupidity.

                    1. If the persistence of unaccountability for police brutality is directly attributable to union contracts that have been negotiated and approved by Democrat party machines for generations, they still won’t vote for the opposition.

                      By “the opposition”, what you mean includes Libertarian candidates, right? Right? Oh no, you expect me to vote for Republicans if I don’t support Democrat policies. Is that it?

                      And besides your whole premise is wrong. Union contracts that overly protect police officers and their misconduct is not a Democrat/Republican thing, it is an institutional thing. Every single city, including those run by Republicans, has a police union. Which Republican-run city has proposed to destroy police unions? Precisely none, because Republicans are just as much in bed with the police unions as Democrats are. Democrats see the support due to unionism per se, while Republicans see the support in the context of LAW AND ORDER and fellating cops.

                      The problem with police unions runs far deeper than the childish Team Red/Team Blue finger pointing.

                  2. Ken here is the one who has been writing for months now that it is the duty of Libertarians to vote Republican in order to stop the supposed Stalinist bogeymen Democrats who will throw every non-leftist in a death camp should they win. If you think I’m a partisan, then Ken classifies as well, 10 times over.

                2. All you have done is pointed to a website that says there’s unions in Chicago. Well duh. You haven’t made your point that unions are the ones responsible for getting Democrats elected in Chicago *in this day and age*, and certainly not by the 80+% margins that they enjoy. This is not the 1930’s anymore. Unions have been on the decline for decades.

                  Let’s take your Wikipedia figure of 500,000 union employees in Cook County, and let’s assume that they all live within the city of Chicago (probably false) and that they turned out for the 2016 election at the same rate as the general public in Chicago (about 70%) and that every single one voted for Democrats (probably false). That is 355,000 votes for Democrats. Clinton received 912,943 votes in Chicago. So where did the other 557,943 votes come from? Was it all voter fraud?

                  I don’t think you can face the uncomfortable truth that Democrats win elections in Chicago because *that’s what the people there want*. Overall they are not being tricked or bribed or brainwashed or corruptly influenced. Instead the election outcome is the general result of the voters’ free choices.

                  Of course there are probably some dirty tricks that unions pull, but I find it very difficult to believe that these dirty tricks can engineer *so many* votes in order to give Democrats such huge margins of victory. And quite frankly, why would they? If Democrats are going to win by huge margins in Chicago anyway, why go through the trouble of some underhanded trick to try to pump up the vote totals even higher?

                  Lastly:

                  Last I checked, Chicago’s unfunded pension obligations were somewhere north of $135 billion–all that money is going to keep the Democrats in power by taxing the fuck out of voters. They treat their voters like toilet paper–because they can. It doesn’t matter how badly the Democrats treat the voters in Chicago–they’ve been voting for Democrats despite the way they’ve been treated for close to 100 years!

                  This is frankly how progressives view voters – that they are tricked and beguiled into “voting against their own interests” (i.e. Republicans) because of “dark money” or some such. Maybe instead of treating voters like morons, you should attempt to respect their free choice even if you don’t agree with that choice. Maybe the people of Chicago who vote for Democrats don’t think they are being treated like toilet paper, maybe the outcome is what they would have preferred all along. Isn’t this how we are told to regard Trump voters – that we shouldn’t assume they are racist inbred redneck morons, but instead try to empathize with their legitimate concerns – i.e., treat them like rational human beings instead of one-dimensional caricatures? Why don’t you try doing the same with Democrat voters?

                  1. “All you have done is pointed to a website that says there’s unions in Chicago. Well duh. You haven’t made your point that unions are the ones responsible for getting Democrats elected in Chicago”

                    I’ve seen six-day creationists do better than this when confronted with facts and logic. Once you become immune to facts and logic, persuasion is out of the question. What you need is a deprogrammer.

                    Matthew 7:6 says, “Don’t feed the trolls”.

                    1. “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

                      —–Matthew 7:6 KJV

                      “Don’t feed the trolls”.

                      —-Matthew 7:6 Shultz Translation

                    2. Still waiting for your facts and figures to support your claim.
                      Guess what, 2020’s Chicago is not the same as 1930’s Chicago.

        2. You go ahead and argue that the Republicans haven’t had a thing to say to engage the locals since 1929–and all the years since then. If you believe that, you’re stupid.

          I haven’t lived in Chicago. Have you? What I can say is that every single US city that I have lived in – and I’ve almost always lived in cities – is one-party because the opposition party CHOOSES not to compete.

          It’s very easy to recognize when parties take local elections seriously – and when they are simply going through the motions. In 2008, the R’s here in Denver had over 75% of precinct chairs vacant. Entire swathes of the city – abandoned to any and all outreach altogether. Of the ones that were filled, the plurality of them were socons (elderly church ladies mostly) who started doing precinct stuff for R’s in the late 70’s and early 80’s. That is the basic unit/job in political party organization. THE neighborhood contact/feedback/pulse person. No precinct chair – no ATTEMPT at outreach in that neighborhood. Period. Very different for the R’s in Colorado Springs – most precincts filled and active and they even have competitive elections for their precinct chairs. No surprise – that’s an R city.

          Both D’s and R’s have let that function diminish over the last few decades as they instead go for the top-down donors/ads/consultants model – and think that polls/messaging can replace actual voter contact. And the establishment/national parties have encouraged that because precinct chairs are an unruly unherdable bunch. They view themselves first and foremost as representatives of their neighborhood not as water-carriers for a candidate/platform. The easiest way to see which party has entirely abandoned local elections/governance is to see which party has abandoned local outreach, Because you are guaranteed to lose when you don’t even try.

          As an aside – this is the major flaw of third parties in the US. They do not remotely understand what precincts even are or why they matter. They are completely caught up in the top-down notion of ‘ideas’ – with zero support from the big money that is the only way to communicate those ideas en masse.

          1. I think you are right in one sense, that libertarians won’t win in a big way until they can convince local voters in a tangible way how the potholes on their street will be filled.

          2. “What I can say is that every single US city that I have lived in – and I’ve almost always lived in cities – is one-party because the opposition party CHOOSES not to compete.”

            Are you like 14 years old?

            1. He has a point. Heffalumps have far fewer activists than the Donkeys – see the recent crowds for the riots vs those for the anti-lockdown protests. And as a city becomes more leftist many conservatives move out, increasing the imbalance.

              Emotionalism is a much stronger driver than calm, rational assessment. As Maya Angelou observed: I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

              1. I was talking about the idea the reason the Republicans fail to win city elections is because they’ve stubbornly chosen not to compete.

                That’s ridiculous–especially compared to observations regarding Democratic machines dolling out jobs, contracts, and favors to rent seekers.

                And it doesn’t account for the amazing amount of abuse other voters accept from those Democratic party machines.

                Again, show me a city with $135 billion in unfunded pension liabilities, and I’ll show you a city where the police are largely unaccountable for police brutality. Both problems stem from the same cause–city councils who fear nothing from opposition voters and so work to placate the unions that control the Democrat nominating process at the voters’ expense.

                1. Ken – I was an active R for decades. And by active I mean doing the local nuts and bolts stuff that you probably don’t even know exists. The part of organizations that gets yard signs out, that knocks on doors, finds poll watchers on election day, arranges transport to the polls for ‘friendlies’, answers questions about the ballot, figures out whether there is a partisan slant on district/muni proposals/policy, finds/screens lower-office candidates and gets them out in front of people, etc. The stuff that big money has negative interest in funding because once in place, they can’t control it. The stuff that ideologues in other geographies oppose because they don’t want to include any extra ‘voice’ at THEIR table for people who might have different priorities. The quo that still remains from the quid (getting a new job when you’ve lost one, getting street plowed, making sure your neighborhood isn’t completely ignored) of the old-fashioned machine. Fail to do that stuff and the outcome is certain.

                  We are NOT a two-party system country. We are a ONE-party system in most places. One DeRp party organizes for the purpose of governing in some places – and entirely abandons everywhere else (demonizing/phantomizing the DeRp there) in order to focus its organization where it wants to govern. And both DeRps pretty much agree 100% that that’s how duopolies should work. Divvy up the territory into two monopolies. Actual competition only exists at the federal/national level. Even ‘purple’ states – like CO used to be – are not actually purple at the local level. They are bright red and bright blue – but purely coincidentally in roughly equal amounts.

                  And if you think R’s are ‘missing’ from the rent-seeking table in cities, then you are a complete moron and have probably never actually lived in a city and paid attention to its governance.

                  1. “And if you think R’s are ‘missing’ from the rent-seeking table in cities, then you are a complete moron”

                    Yes, that’s exactly what I wrote–and you can quote me on it. In fact, if that’s what you think I wrote, why don’t you go ahead and quote me–you stupid sack of shit?

                    Here’s what I actually wrote:

                    “Score one point for the hypothesis that long term police reform is less likely in a one-party legislature (like Chicago or New York) and more likely in a legislature where two parties contend for control by competing with each other for votes.”

                    —-Ken Shultz

                    If you can’t understand what that means, it doesn’t surprise me. Not much you’ve written make much sense, so why we think you can understand what other people are talking about. For future reference, when you don’t understand what other people are talking about, it doesn’t mean they’re stupid. It means you’re stoopid! And if you can’t understand what I wrote there, yes, you really are stupid.

                    1. You said especially compared to observations regarding Democratic machines dolling out jobs, contracts, and favors to rent seekers…And it doesn’t account for the amazing amount of abuse other voters accept from those Democratic party machines.

                      I can’t speak for any city I’ve never lived in – but without exception every city I HAVE lived in doles out the big rent-seeking to country-club R’s, and lawyer D’s type on an ‘equal opportunity for insider connected elites’ basis. And those elites – regardless of party- will happily throw their ‘political party’ under the bus to get those sweetheart deals.

                      If OTOH you are more narrowly talking about public sector unions (whose members are clearly more D and very active D at the precinct level), then your observation is meaningless. Because the R’s NEVER outline an actual alternative. Railing about unions in cities – from the suburbs where those unions ALSO exist – is the height of ‘ignore me I’m just ranting’ futility. That sort of rant is designed purely to fire up the R base – NOT to get D or indy votes.

                      And honestly, that is the real limit of a one-party system with monopolized territories doled out by a national duopoly. Simple electoral reality says they have to spend more time firing up their own base by demonizing the other base – and thus by definition they can’t appeal outside their own base.

                      R’s have spent decades burning all bridges and connections to voters in cities. Which is why they have nothing to offer in elections there – and will never have anything to offer there. The only viable opposition to the D’s in urban areas is going to be either an L-type or a G-type opposition. But of course, that means they need to understand precincts and local organizing. I don’t know the viable opposition to R’s in their one-party controlled areas – but it likewise is probably not the D’s.

                      This is exactly why every other reasonably large/diverse country on Earth (except Nigeria) has multiple political parties – even if in any single district/region there are only two parties which COMPETE. That doesn’t exist in the US for the sole reason that the one thing both D’s and R’s can always agree on is – BURY any other party – NOW. Third parties are the one thing that can upset their divvying up of the US into two different monopolies.

                    2. “You said especially compared to observations regarding Democratic machines dolling out jobs, contracts, and favors to rent seekers…And it doesn’t account for the amazing amount of abuse other voters accept from those Democratic party machines.

                      Yeah, well here’s a newsflash: The city councils in question (Chicago, Minneapolis, New York City, Seattle, etc.) are all 90% dominated by Democratic party machines–and have been dominated by the Democratic party for generations. You want me to talk about those Democrat party machines without mentioning the Democratic party?! That’s stupid.

                      The fact is that in systems where the general election determines who does and who doesn’t win a seat on the council in question, the elected officials are more responsive to the voters. Conversely, in places where who wins isn’t determined by the general election but by who gets nominated by the Democratic party, the elected officials are more responsive to the people who control the nominating process (like law enforcement unions) rather than the voters in the general election.

                      If you think that isn’t true because Democrats are the ones who’ve been running these party machines since before the Great Depression, so the observation is unfair to Democrats, then you’re a fucking idiot.

        3. I also live in CO and JFree is right. There is no one to vote for.

          Anyone who would be any good has the brains to stay out of politics. Anyone with brains got out of the big cities years ago.

          The milquetoast Rs at the state level here are just awful. The caucus is like Jeb! versus Mit! every single year.

  9. Polis, being somewhat independent and libertarian leaning, is leading the Democrats on this. He deserves some credit. Trump, unfortunately, doesn’t support it, but police work and police rules are outside of the federal government’s scope of responsibility, except when a state or local police violate federal laws or someone’s constitutional rights. Seems to me, any government official that violates someone’s rights should be subject not just to prosecution, but to civil liability as well, but are not thanks to qualified immunity. And they seem to be immune to being prosecuted by Democrat DAs, unless that DA has a record of corruption and in a tight race to get re-elected. Consider, Klobuchar could have prosecuted Chauvin years ago, but chose to not prosecute; thus, failing to save Floyd’s life.

    I can’t seem to find the votes for this bill and how it breaks down by party, which would be interesting to see.

    1. “Libertarian leaning?” Put down the Kool-aid, citizen!

    2. Seriously, this “Polis is libertarian leaning” nonsense really needs to dies. The man is an all-in nanny-state authoritarian.

      1. Citation needed.

    3. Polis is NOT libertarian leaning. Full statist, full stop.

    4. Polis is as libertarian as we’re going to find in the Democratic Party. That doesn’t make him a libertarian or even anything close, but if more D’s were like him it would be a good thing.

    5. Polis seems more of a neoliberal to me. A little bit of good, a little bit of bad, but more or less an institutionalist.

    6. I can’t seem to find the votes for this bill and how it breaks down by party, which would be interesting to see.

      Vote count (for CO Senate at least) here – Can’t seem to find the House vote but the Senate vote was unanimous (35-0) or near-unanimous (32-2) on every vote. Which likely means there’s a lot less to this than meets the eye – but it WILL get implemented regardless of future election outcomes.

      1. As an aside – this m.o. for legislation is pretty typical of the way CO used to be. Use partisan disagreements on particulars to pare back the legislation to what can be agreed as consensus or near-consensus. Governance-wise, it has its advantages and disadvantages.

        Election-wise, it annoys the hell out of partisan activists who never get a clear-cut win with overt surrender from the other side. And forces election politics to move on to the next issue rather than fighting the samesame over and over and over and over.

  10. “It will strip police officers of qualified immunity in civil court if they are sued for violating people’s rights or for failing to intervene when they witness another officer violating a person’s rights.”

    I don’t think this is correct. As I read it, this bill will not stop Colorado police officers from being able to assert qualified immunity for violations of rights in Section 1983 claims (that’s not within Colorado’s power to do). What the bill does is create a new cause of action for violations of the individual rights secured by the Colorado Bill of Rights and specify that qualified immunity does not apply to that cause of action.

  11. If the officer fails to follow this rule, statements or other evidence presented by that officer may be ruled inadmissible in court; the officer may also face discipline up to and including termination. If it’s determined that a cop turned off a camera to conceal misconduct or obstruct justice, the officer’s certification may be suspended for up to a year. If the incident involves the death of a civilian, the officer’s certification may be permanently revoked. The bill includes a process for making body camera footage public and for redacting private information that the footage may have captured.

    I’m seeing an awful lot of “may” and not much “shall”.

  12. It is almost like this is a state level issue and not a federal one. Who fucking knew.

    1. Things can be both. Qualified Immunity is a federal issue.

  13. >>Law Enforcement Integrity

    c’mon, Shelly.

  14. Is it legal and constitutional for the government to unilaterally rewrite union contracts this way–if that’s what they’re doing?

    Are there any other situations in which a state government can unilaterally rescind the contractual obligations of cities, or is this the only one?

    Maybe they’re telling the police that their contracts are null and void and they’re free to leave the force for breach of contract.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if we start seeing the police go on strike.

    1. U.S. Constitution
      Article 1 – The Legislative Branch
      Section 10 – Powers Prohibited of States
      No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

      1. Yeah, I don’t think there’s anything about being in law enforcement that makes someone’s First Amendment right to peaceably assemble or right to petition the government for a redress of grievances to disappear either.

        God knows I’m no fan of government employee unions. I confess. I’m also no fan of arsonists or rapists, but we respect their constitutional rights anyway–even after they’ve been convicted. I believe that the these union contracts should be renegotiated with an eye towards getting rid of the clauses that make them personally unaccountable, but deprive them of their First Amendment rights and their right to contracts?

        No way.

        I won’t compromise on the Fourth Amendment just to protect us from terrorists, I won’t compromise on the Second Amendment to protect us from mass shootings, and I’m not about to okay violating the rights of police officers just because I don’t like the contracts they negotiated either. If we want those contract renegotiated, the solution is to elect different people to the city council.

        Violating people’s rights–and their contract rights specifically–isn’t the libertarian solution to anything.

        1. What, exactly, do you think is violating anyone’s contract (or other) rights?

          1. “Is it legal and constitutional for the government to unilaterally rewrite union contracts this way–if that’s what they’re doing?

            Are there any other situations in which a state government can unilaterally rescind the contractual obligations of cities, or is this the only one?”

            —-Ken Shultz

            Are you not following this conversation?

            Those are not necessarily rhetorical questions. If the police unions have negotiated terms in their contracts that were executed by whatever municipality in good faith, then the contractual obligations of those cities to the police shouldn’t go away just because the government says so.

            They might be able to do something about future contracts that need to be negotiated with this new law in mind, but existing contracts should still be binding until the terms expire.

            1. Maybe thats why they’re delayed to 2023?

            2. I am following the conversation. You seem pretty convinced that something is violating someone’s rights. You said “I believe that the these union contracts should be renegotiated with an eye towards getting rid of the clauses that make them personally unaccountable, but deprive them of their First Amendment rights and their right to contracts?” and that “[v]iolating people’s rights–and their contract rights specifically–isn’t the libertarian solution to anything.”

              That’s why I asked, “[w]hat, exactly, do you think is violating anyone’s contract (or other) rights?

              1. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”.

                —-First Amendment

                Individuals have a right to form unions. It’s listed in the First Amendment as the right to peaceably assemble. People also have a right to petition the government in the First Amendment, which is exactly what a union contract does.

                Because Congress doesn’t like, say, Catholics, well, that doesn’t really matter. Congress cannot make a law establishing some other religion or prohibiting the free exercise of Catholicism by Catholics anyway.

                Because a state legislature doesn’t like the police, that shouldn’t really matter either–because their right to peaceably assemble is protected from the intrusion of democracy by way of elected representatives. You tell because it begins, “Congress shall make no law . . . “.

                Yes, you have a right to assemble and a right to petition the government–regardless of whether the legislature likes it. If the locals don’t like the terms of the contract that the municipality in question approved, then they can vote in other representatives who will demand different terms in the contract once the present contract expires. Somebody up yonder pointed to Article I, where it says that the legislature can’t arbitrarily destroy contracts. Contracts are, in fact, another form of the right to freedom of association, and the state legislature doesn’t have the power to wave a wand and arbitrarily destroy a city’s contractual obligations–just like they don’t have the power to make someone’s religious beliefs illegal.

                If you don’t want that to be the way it is, well, the world is full of things people don’t like. They exist anyway, regardless of whether people like them, and our rights are like that, too. I don’t know that the world is a better place because of Scientologists, pornographers, payday lenders, Nickleback, or police unions, but those people have rights and their rights exist regardless of whether we like them–or rights don’t exist at all.

                1. You have yet to identify a single thing in this bill that violates anyone’s contract (or other) rights. I ask, again, “[w]hat, exactly, do you think is violating anyone’s contract (or other) rights?”

                  1. By collecting and analyzing an original dataset of 178 union contracts from many of the nation’s largest police departments, this article shows how these agreements can frustrate police accountability efforts. A substantial number of these agreements limit officer interrogations after alleged misconduct, mandate the destruction of disciplinary records, ban civilian oversight, prevent anonymous civilian complaints, indemnify officers in the event of civil suits, and limit the length of internal investigations.

                    —-Duke Law Journal

                    https://scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3890&context=dlj

                    The protections from accountability for the police are largely written into their union contracts. If the text of this legislation doesn’t conflict with those contracts, then it isn’t doing anything. If the text of the legislation does conflict with those contracts, then they’re violating the rights of the police officers as outlined above. If you don’t understand that, it’s because you don’t want to understand it.

                    1. See, now that wasn’t so hard, was it? We still haven’t identified any actual objections, but at least we have a hint.

                      “If the text of this legislation doesn’t conflict with those contracts, then it isn’t doing anything.”

                      Sure it is. It’s doing all kinds of things. For one thing, it’s allowing people to sue if an officer violates their rights under the Colorado constitution, something that wasn’t available before. That’s a right that’s being given to the people of Colorado, something that can’t possibly be touched by union contracts.

                      “If the text of the legislation does conflict with those contracts, then they’re violating the rights of the police officers as outlined above.”

                      Not anymore than any other contract that’s modified by changes in state laws. You don’t have a right to contract around mandatory provisions of state laws. You can’t contract around the minimum wage or OSHA regulations.

                      And not all of the provisions go into effect immediately.

                    2. “For one thing, it’s allowing people to sue if an officer violates their rights under the Colorado constitution”

                      Again, you seem to be highly confused about the nature of these union contracts.

                      One more time with emphasis:

                      “A substantial number of these agreements limit officer interrogations after alleged misconduct, mandate the destruction of disciplinary records, ban civilian oversight, prevent anonymous civilian complaints, indemnify officers in the event of civil suits, and limit the length of internal investigations.

                      —-Duke Law Journal (Ibidem)

                      If the union contract stipulates that the municipality indemnifies officers in the event of civil suits, the legislature cannot simply vote that indemnification away unilaterally. If that is hard for you to understand after everything I’ve written, then it really is because you don’t want to understand it.

                      Ever read Hannah Ardent’s account of the Eichman trial? One of the painful but true observations she makes is that although Eichmann participated in the murder of masses of innocent people, nothing he did in that respect was illegal at the time he did it. His crimes were only crimes in retrospect. No sane ethical person wants to believe that, but it’s true!

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eichmann_in_Jerusalem#Legality_of_the_trial

                      Because you want to strip the police of their qualified immunity (with good intentions), likewise, doesn’t mean it’s necessary to rationalize violating the rights of the police or violating the Constitution in any way.

                      Passing this law might have an impact on future negotiations between municipalities and law enforcement unions after their current police contracts expire, but pretending that the legislature can vote the contractual obligations of any party away is false. Meanwhile, there is no good substitute in a democracy for voters who are willing to vote against city council members because they’re in cahoots with the police on qualified immunity. That’s the ultimate solution.

                      Violating the Constitution or anyone’s rights isn’t a lasting solution at all anyway, but the effects of violating the Constitution may last a long time and spill into other areas of our lives, where it doesn’t belong. If the legislature can unilaterally wipe away one party’s contractual obligations in union contracts, can they do it on other things, too? How can you be legally obligated to abide by the terms of a contract that were dictated to you after you agreed to the terms with your signature? You’re opening a whole can of worms here–for a temporary “solution” that doesn’t really address the problem of voters who don’t care enough to vote for city council members based on their support for qualified immunity.

                    3. I don’t think I’m the one that’s confused.

                      “If the union contract stipulates that the municipality indemnifies officers in the event of civil suits, the legislature cannot simply vote that indemnification away unilaterally.”

                      They certainly can do what they did here, which is to say that this is an entirely new cause of action and this is how departments are permitted to indemnify their officers. You don’t have a right to contract around mandatory state laws.

                      And this law still requires departments to fully indemnify their officers for any good-faith actions, and if the actions weren’t in good faith they still have to partially indemnify the officer.

                      “Because you want to strip the police of their qualified immunity (with good intentions), likewise, doesn’t mean it’s necessary to rationalize violating the rights of the police or violating the Constitution in any way.”

                      This bill does nothing to affect their right to qualified immunity. Qualified immunity is the result of federal judicial decisions and it will take federal action to get rid of it. Qualified immunity is also something that cannot be included in a contract because it doesn’t govern the relationship between the parties to the contract but includes the general public instead. No contract can grant qualified immunity.

                      This bill merely makes it explicit that qualified immunity cannot be extended to apply to lawsuits based on the violation of the Colorado constitution.

                      “Passing this law might have an impact on future negotiations between municipalities and law enforcement unions after their current police contracts expire, but pretending that the legislature can vote the contractual obligations of any party away is false.”

                      No it isn’t. Not only can legislatures do it, but courts can do it as well. If a court determines that a provision in a contract, like an indemnity provision, is against public policy they will not enforce it. That’s why it’s very important to know what kind of indemnity provisions are legal in the state where you are entering into a contract. And one common saving construction of indemnification provisions is to say something along the lines of “to the greatest extent allowed by law” so that some indemnification can still occur even if part of it is thrown out.

                      “If the legislature can unilaterally wipe away one party’s contractual obligations in union contracts, can they do it on other things, too?”

                      Yes, I’ve already pointed out examples. OSHA. Minimum and prevailing wages. And there’s more. Indemnity clauses. Prompt payment. Independent contractors versus employees.

                      But again, they made a very modest (if any) modification to the indemnity requirements for police departments.

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  16. Wow. Not a bad first step. Not bad at all.

    1. I know, right?
      It is a very good first step.

      1. If only someone in National power would make such a First Step you’d enthusiastically endorse him, right?

  17. The devil’s in the details but this sounds extremely promising.

  18. Strip the police of the immunity they have as guardians of the peace?…..Why not strip the cowardly, crooked politicians that create societal chaos and walk away with huge rewards, make them accountable for their massive errors and corrupted time in office???…Why not strip away the tax paid security for those elected and appointed who are supposed to uphold the law but look to take away your right to defend your life, property, friends and family…Why not term limit elected and appointed officials and make them accountable with merit and performance?????..Think about what you put into leadership and look at what you have…We do not need people who kneel to insurrection or bend the laws, we need those who stand up and lead and use the rule of law……America for Americans……..

    1. I’ll contend that we’ve been lied to more by politicians and the news media than we have by the police. How about mandating that politicians and news media people wear bodycams?

    2. The immunity clauses need to be reconsidered for not only police, but prosecutors, judges, and bureaucrats who currently are able to act with malicious intent free of consequences.

  19. If the officer fails to follow this rule, statements or other evidence presented by that officer may be ruled inadmissible in court;

    this should have been the rule ALL ALONG for any officers equipped with bodycams.

  20. Out of curiosity… when a criminal is apprehended legitimately and decides he’s butthurt about being busted, what’s to prevent him from filing suit against the officer, who now has to defend himself in a frivolous lawsuit? A good officer will have to protect himself and there’s little recourse against this – other than a “loser pays” lawsuit. When Colorado began its Red-Flag laws on the first of the year, it took nine days before someone filed a frivolous lawsuit against a law enforcement officer.

    1. Nothing prevents it, but putting up a bond or paying a fee ($100?) AND having loser pays would inhibit most frivolous suits.

      Requiring a cop to have liability insurance would also allow the insurance company to help ‘police’ the suits that get through to the cop.

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