Colorado’s police accountability bill now requires officers to face imminent threat before using deadly force |

Colorado’s police accountability bill now requires officers to face imminent threat before using deadly force

Another amendment added to Senate Bill 217 on Monday prohibits officers from using tear gas on protesters without warning. The measure now has bipartisan support.

A demonstrator wears a face mask and latex gloves while waving a placard along Lincoln Avenue during a protest Tuesday, June 2, 2020, in Denver over the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man in police custody in Minneapolis.
AP Photo / David Zalubowski

Colorado Democrats’ sweeping police accountability bill won preliminary approval Monday in the state Senate after undergoing a number of changes, including the addition of a prohibition on the use of deadly force by officers unless they face an imminent threat. 

Currently, officers may use deadly force if they reasonably fear for their lives or the lives of their colleagues and not necessarily if they are facing an imminent threat. The amendment, brought by state Sen. Mike Foote, a Lafayette Democrat, aims to shift the standard under which police can legally use deadly force to an objective standard versus a subjective one.

“This amendment attempts to — and I think will be successful to — change the use of force and the use of deadly force in the state of Colorado and make it easier for those officers that use force in violation (of the law) to be prosecuted,” said Foote, a former prosecutor. “… It will turn out that force will be used less often.”

The legislation passed by a voice vote and with bipartisan support after Senate Republicans initially opposed the bill. GOP lawmakers lauded policy on Monday, thanking Democrats for incorporating their proposed changes and nodding to the fact that some in law enforcement may still take issue with sections of the measure.

Read the full story via The Colorado Sun.

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