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Black Lives Matter activist says a new bill will help police address ‘bad apples’ in their ranks

Salt Lake City riot police
Brian Albers
/
KUER
Law enforcement organizations, the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office and community advocates supported a bill that requires police to intervene in and report misconduct by other officers.

It’s not often that law enforcement leaders, county attorneys and Black Lives Matter activists all agree on police reform legislation.

But that’s the case with S.B. 126, which the Utah Senate Judiciary Committee approved Wednesday.

It requires police to intervene when they see another officer engaging in misconduct, like using excessive force. It also requires them to report it.

Ken Wallentine, president of the Utah Chiefs of Police Association, said the bill is “a step toward law enforcement officers truly being [their] brothers and sisters’ keepers.”

“It really is a way to improve our profession, to provide an avenue for law enforcement officers, to keep others from making mistakes and causing the harm that results from those mistakes,” Wallentine said.

That sentiment was shared by Rae Duckworth, the head of Black Lives Matter Utah. She said this is the first step in building trust with communities.

“This bill is going to encourage officers to get rid of those ‘bad apples,’ and then hopefully we just continue to get justice from this point on,” Duckworth said.

The legislation also prohibits retaliation against an officer who intervenes in and reports misconduct.

Emily Means is a government and politics reporter at KUER.
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