Police Group Who Helped Pass Measure Comments on Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act

Today, the US House of Representatives passed HR.3884, the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (MORE Act) by a vote of 228 to 164. The Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP), a nonprofit group of police and other criminal justice professionals, endorsed the MORE Act because it would address serious public safety and social equity concerns associated with marijuana enforcement.

“As a police officer, I helped wage a so-called war on marijuana. But no matter how hard we tried, how many losses we were willing to sustain to our own side, how many dollars spent, and how many lives ruined, we never made a dent in either demand or supply for very long. Today I am thrilled to see that after almost fifty years of this catastrophic war, our congressional leaders have finally decided to lay down their arms and try something that works.” ” — Police Major Neill Franklin (Ret.), …

Pro-Reform Law Enforcement Will Keep Pushing For Justice & Equality

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Here’s a breakdown of eight successful key state…

Today, a grand jury announced that former Louisville, Kentucky, police officer Brett Hankison will be charged with three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment. These charges are related to shots he fired into apartments surrounding Breonna Taylor’s, who was killed by one of the officers at the scene during the incident. No charges were filed in response to Taylor’s killing.

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Breonna Taylor’s death was preventable, but according to laws set forth by our War on Drugs, her killing is justifiable because police suspected that her home was involved in illegal drugs. No drugs were found during the raid. …

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A Retired Police Leader Reflects on a Murky Legal Doctrine

By Major Neill Franklin (Ret.), executive director of the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP)

Civil unrest after the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers has ignited action to change policies surrounding policing. Experts across the country are now working to weaken a problematic legal doctrine known as qualified immunity, which inhibits police accountability. As a retired Chief of the Albany Police Department, I’m all too familiar with how qualified immunity has protected officers from being held accountable and can see why criminal justice professionals and legislators recommend that we reign it in.

First established by the Supreme Court in the ruling of Pierson v. Ray (1967), qualified immunity was formulated to protect public officials, including police officers, from superfluous lawsuits. The rationale was that police should not be afraid to make an arrest or use force when necessary to protect public safety out of fear of being sued. …

Law Enforcement Professionals Support Harm Reduction Solutions in Honor of International Overdose Awareness Day

Overdose is a global problem, but the solutions begin in our own communities. Addiction should be fought with compassion and, most importantly, with harm reduction methods and programs to save lives and protect public safety. …

By Deputy Chief Wayne Harris (Ret.)

The protests over George Floyd’s killing have sharply divided our nation. As a retired Deputy Chief of Police for the Rochester, NY Police Department, I am convinced that most people agree on far more than they disagree. Most agree that police have too many responsibilities. Most agree that preventing crime is better than responding to it. Most agree that police cannot arrest society’s way out of mental illness, addiction, and homelessness. We should consider funding specialists to handle problems arising out of quality-of-life issues in our communities.

I spent my first twelve years as a patrol officer, and I quickly learned that many arrests are unnecessary and counterproductive. Arresting people for low-level issues, while sometimes necessary, can have an adverse effect on the relationship between a police department and the community it serves as it erodes community trust. Police depend on that trust to find witnesses, solve crime, and protect our community. If we want police to be able to solve the most heinous crimes, we need to minimize unnecessary tasks for police. …

Det. Debbie Ramsey (Ret.)

When I served as a Baltimore Police Detective, Community Policing Officer, and Patrol Officer, I saw that youth who quit school often got in trouble with the law and stayed in the system into adulthood. We can all agree that it’s better to guide kids onto a positive, healthy path than to expect punishment in the justice system to have a positive result. …

By Deputy Inspector Corey Pegues (Ret.)

As a former police commander in East Flatbush who grew up in a rough part of Queens, it breaks my heart to see victims of gun violence. We worked hard to investigate every homicide, but I realized so much more could be done to prevent homicides. I helped start the God Squad program, which brings ministers out into the street to speak with young men involved in gang violence, with the aim of stopping killings before they occur. …

To all my brothers and sisters of the “Thin Blue Line” during this incredibly difficult and painful time in our history.

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I think we can all agree that the death of George Floyd was murder and that officer should have never been out there in the first place. And if the protests were solely about one cop and one murder, then I would agree the world has flipped upside down. The protests are not about Mr. Floyd’s murder, he was just the final spark that lit the fuse and blew open the powder keg we have been sitting on for the history of our profession. It is easy to separate ourselves from the protesters as they chant of “All cops are bastards,” All cops must die,” “Police are racists,” “Cops are murderers,” “Defund the Police,” and the list goes on and on and on, but we need to dig deeper and listen to what is behind the chant. It makes me scared and I am sick to my stomach when I hear these things and see our beautiful cities burning and my friends working so hard to mend relationships and further the conversation just to have to face agitators again on the same day. …

For Immediate Release: Wednesday June 3, 2020

The recommendations call for an independent database to track police personnel records with a national licensure system for officers; immediate implementation of a duty-to-intervene policy in departments nationwide, requiring officers to intervene when they witness excessive force and misconduct by their colleagues and report incidents to superiors; and ending the union contract-mandated destruction of personnel records that erase evidence of officer misconduct. The recommendations also call upon Congress to “establish a national standard for the use of deadly force that upholds the sanctity of human life” and urges federal action to address qualified immunity, a legal precedent that limits law enforcement accountability when cases go to court. …


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