Police unions in CA unveil national reform agenda amid heightened tensions over policing tactics

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Three police unions in California, including the Los Angeles Police Protective League, have unveiled a national reform agenda which they say is in an effort to improve "outcomes" between police officers and the communities they serve.

The proposed guidelines, released in partnership with the San Francisco and San Jose police officer associations, come amid heightened tensions over policing tactics and sweeping calls for reforms sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Full-page newspaper ads were taken out in Sunday editions of the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post and the Mercury News to publicly announce the plan.

The ads featured a joint statement from the unions, which reads: "No words can convey our collective disgust and sorrow for the death of George Floyd. We have an obligation as a profession and as human beings to express our sorrow by taking action."

The Los Angeles Police Department and other local law enforcement agencies have halted the use of carotid artery restraints, also know known as sleeper holds, in wake of nationwide protests.

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In L.A. County, the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted unanimously to support AB 1196, which would ban carotid artery restraints throughout the state.

The following steps are actions laid out in the reform plan:

  • A national data base of former police officers fired for gross misconduct, which would prevent other agencies from hiring them.

  • A sweeping use-of-force standard that "emphasizes a reverence for life, de-escalation, a duty to intercede" in situations of excessive force or misconduct, as well as "strong accountability provisions.

  • An early warning system to identify officers that may need more training.

  • Recurring and "frequent" training in crisis intervention and de-escalation training.

  • A publicly accessible use-of-force analysis website "so that the public can monitor when and how force is used."

  • The joint statement calls for the reform agenda to be adopted across the country.

  • "Police officers come from and reflect our communities. Unfortunately, there is racism in our communities and that means across our country that there are some racist police officers. Police unions must root out racism wherever it rears its ugly head and root out any racist individual from our profession," the union's statement said.

    Robert Harris of the Los Angeles Police Protective League says the changes will requires community involvement and defunding police departments will make it harder to accomplish their goals.
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