Speak Up: Responses on findings against police officers

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Police reform legislation drew debate June 7, with advocates claiming they were not fully involved in the process and pleading for more transparency than is offered. The two-hour-plus meeting of the House of Representatives Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee included conflicting testimony from lawmakers, police representatives and advocacy groups, all of whom have been part of discussions to change Delaware’s Law-Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights for more than three years. Under House Bill 205, existing code would be revised to publicly disclose certain findings against police officers and to provide select records to defense attorneys. What moves should be made to change transparency among our police agencies?

  • Access to a police officer’s internal affairs file should not be open to the public, as many of the complaints may be false complaints. Complaints can be filed by anyone for anything with the internal affairs division of a police department, and an investigation is done. The officer who was complained about may not have even been involved, yet the complaint will remain in the file of that officer. Attorneys and the public will just see that a complaint has been filed and will often not even bother to note that the internal affairs officer found the officer was not involved or was exonerated. If a police officer’s internal affairs records are open to all, then everyone’s personal discipline records at work should be, as well. What is good for one is good for all. — Sandy Johnson
  • Any finding against a public employee should be public record. — Scott Ryan
  • I second Scott’s remark. — Warren Avis
  • Why not against a private employee? Goes both ways. — Sandy Johnson
  • Because private employees are not paid with public funds. — Scott Ryan
  • But we pay them when we purchase their products. So, in effect, we do pay their salaries, as well. — Sandy Johnson
  • Actions that involve any employee should be kept within that venue. Too often, employees are not given a chance to fairly express their case, instead of being fired or released with cause. Public record is none of your business unless you wish to open your accounts, all of them, to the viewing public! — Howard Gaines III
  • House Bill 205 doesn’t go nearly far enough. It’s time to: #EndQualifiedImmunity, #EndCivilAssetForfeiture, #EndNoKnockRaids, #RepealLEOBOR, #EndVictimlessCrimes, #EnactInsuranceRequirementsForOfficers, #EnactVicariousLiabilityForTheChainOfCommand. — Libertarian Party of Delaware
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