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Misconduct registry, forfeiting benefits & more; AG outlines 7 proposals for police reform in MI

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Posted at 12:31 PM, Jun 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-16 16:52:04-04

LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel outlined seven proposals for police reform in Michigan.

Nessel and the AG's office said the proposals are to seek transparency with law enforcement agencies. The proposals would authorize the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) to do several things, and create oversight for law enforcement agencies.

In 2016, MCOLES began requiring officers be licensed.

The proposals include:

  • Authorizing MCOLES to suspend or revoke a license when an officer engages in conduct the adversely affects their ability to perform job duties, or, engages in conduct detrimental to the reputation, integrity or discipline of the department
  • Mandating law enforcement agencies maintain disciplinary records of an officer in their personnel file
  • Require MCOLES to create a statewide misconduct registry available to the public
  • Amend the Public Employee Benefits Forfeiture Act so officers forfeit retirement benefits if convicted with a misconduct felony on duty
  • Mandate law enforcement agencies report use of force data, disaggregated by race, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion and age
  • Create an independent investigative and prosecutor process for deaths that involve law enforcement officers
  • Require continuing education for officers as a license requirement, improving and standardizing police training

“We must do more than just condemn bigotry and acts of excessive force committed by law enforcement officers. We must act,” Nessel said in a release. “Today, I have announced seven proposals for police reform, but this is merely a start. Making meaningful and concrete changes doesn’t end here, but it’s crucial that we move first with measures which create better accountability and more transparency to the actions of law enforcement here in Michigan. This work is a marathon, not a sprint and I am committed to moving with all deliberate speed in making progress on this front.”

Nessels aid she will meet with members of the Legislature, community groups, advocacy groups, law enforcement agencies and others to discuss the proposals.

“This is just the first step toward implementing positive change in our criminal justice system,” Nessel added in the release. “I look forward to working with these stakeholders to identify and implement additional ways to ensure all people – regardless of their race, color or zip code – are treated with equal respect and dignity under the law.”

Michigan State Police Director, Col. Joe Gasper, released this statement in support of the reforms.

"The Michigan State Police is committed to working on several fronts with all stakeholders to achieve police reform in Michigan. The reforms announced today by Attorney General Dana Nessel are another positive step toward increasing accountability and transparency in policing and they merit further discussion and review by stakeholders.

"These measures, along with Senate Bill 945 that would require law enforcement officers to complete training on implicit bias and de-escalation techniques, as well as Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s effort to encourage police agencies to adopt policies that require officers to intervene when they observe an excessive use of force by another officer, are all positive measures that will improve policing outcomes in our state.

"I also fully support and welcome the addition of the Michigan Civil Rights Director and three civilian members to the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards, which will give our citizens a voice in setting training and licensing standards and will provide this important commission with a needed outside perspective.

"It’s important to acknowledge that true reform requires careful consideration from all involved parties, as well as a commitment to funding in order to meet the stated objectives. I offer my full commitment, and that of my agency, in working alongside all who are interested in improving policing in Michigan.

"The role and responsibility of police officers in our society is a great one; one in which our authority is derived from the trust and support of the people we serve, which means we need to be responsive and accountable, willing to listen and take action for the betterment of all."

Read them all here

AG outlines proposals for police reform in Michigan by WXYZ-TV Channel 7 Detroit on Scribd