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On January 6th, 2021, a group of insurrectionists championing President Donald Trump’s false claims of a rigged election stormed the US Capitol Building and disrupted the final electoral college vote count. These violent individuals vandalized the nation’s highest government offices, threatening elected officials, their staffers, and our American democracy and national security.

The following is a statement issued by Lt. Diane Goldstein (Ret.), 21-year police veteran and executive director of the Law Enforcement Action Partnership, on behalf of the organization:

The Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP) calls on all law enforcement officials and those who support them to reject this despicable act of domestic terrorism. Those responsible for this incident should be held socially and criminally accountable. As an attempt to overturn a legitimate election, these actions should be understood as a treasonous assault on our democracy.

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

Several states made groundbreaking progress this week. The Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP) is proud to endorse these efforts, and we offer our heartfelt congratulations. Ultimately, we are working to make America a country that rejects injustice and inequality. A country that holds police accountable to the people they serve. A country that believes in a public health approach to issues that do not belong within the justice system. We are working toward a future that builds our communities up and helps them grow. We, the American people, determine the future of this country.

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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

Today, people around the world are coming together to commemorate International Overdose Awareness Day, a day to remember those who have died or suffered permanent injury due to drug overdose. This is a day to unite in honor of those we’ve lost, and while there’s so much going on in the world right now, finding effective solutions to this public health crisis is more important than ever.

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.)

The killing of George Floyd has spurred protests across this country and reinvigorated the national debate over policing. Thousands of voices are calling for a change in how policing is done, and having served as a Baltimore City police officer, I believe it is high time that we answer the call. It is urgent that our city’s budget prioritize prevention instead of focusing solely on responses to crime. We need to re-fund the community to solve issues before they escalate and require an armed police response.

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.)

The killing of George Floyd has brought national attention to the rallying cry to “defund the police.” As a retired Deputy Inspector with the NYPD, I agree it is time to re-fund our communities. Because our city does not adequately invest in social services and community-based resources, police are overloaded and forced to intervene in quality of life issues, making us less effective at our jobs. Our city should remove many responsibilities from the police’s plate and reallocate funds to nonpolice services.

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. …

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Welcome to Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP) blog! We’re a nonprofit group of law enforcement pros who advance proven solutions to public safety issues.

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