Michigan one of 19 states that haven't enacted police reform legislation

Posted at 5:47 AM, May 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-25 12:29:26-04

(WXYZ) — Tuesday marks the one-year mark since the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. Protests around the country broke out after, with calls to defund the police.

Michigan is one of 19 states that has not enacted police reform legislation, despite bills introduced in both chambers of the legislature, but changes are happening.

In Inkster, bake sales are raising money for youth programs, and movie nights in the parking lot aim at building relationships and having a better understanding.

Tensions reached a near-historic high between police and the communities they serve this past year since Floyd's death.

"When an innocent life is taken it is horrifying to us as well," Inkster Police Chief William T. Riley, III, said.

President Joe Biden's goal of passing the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act by the anniversary of his death appears elusive.

The act would ban chokeholds and no-knock warrants, set up a national registry of police misconduct and overhaul qualified immunity, a legal doctrine that protects law enforcement from civil lawsuits.

Roughly 30 states have enacted some version of police reform legislation, 25 of which related to three areas: use of force, duty for officers to intervene, report or render medical aid in instances of police misconduct, or misconduct reporting and decertification.

Michigan is not any of those states, but it's not due to bills not being introduced.

Senate Bill 945 would require training on implicit bias and de-escalation techniques for officers. It passed the Republican-controlled Senate unanimously but stalled in the Republican-controlled House.

The Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police opposed it.

Even without a law, the training is happening.

"Our goal is to train our officers to understand implicit bias because we all have bias whether we like it or not," Riley added.