Dated: Thursday January 28, 2021
Legislation, whether local, state or federally initiated, is supposed to be fair, unbiased, provide humane treatment even of those it seeks to regulate, and above all else, have a values-based objective. Unfortunately, Senate Bill 66, sponsored by Missouri State Senator Rick Brattin is none of these.
Sen. Brattin’s bill would not only encourage excessive use of force by law enforcement officers, but would also grant the use of deadly force to any person who alleged that persons who gathered to voice their constitutionally guaranteed rights of free speech and protest came too close to their private property. The bill would also allow individuals to forcibly use a motor vehicle against pedestrian protesters simply because they were in their way. And what makes this proposed legislation even more insidious is the fact that it appears to have the support of other members of our profession.
Not only is this legislation ill-founded, it appears, on its very face, to be directly and specifically designed to be disproportionately adverse to people of color, meaning that it has serious, intentional racially adverse overtones. As well, it appears to be specifically designed to prevent the peaceful exercise of constitutionally guaranteed rights to free speech and assembly.
As a body of law enforcement practitioners whose goal is the enabling of positive relationships between law enforcement and members of the various communities of color that we represent, we must ultimately consider this proposed legislation to be another glaring example of the type of discriminatory, systemic, and institutionalized racism that has for years plagued our community.
We urge the Missouri legislature to denounce this proposal and deny its passage. It is yet another vile attempt to again cause harm to our community and disrupt the hard-fought for relationships between law enforcement and those we protect.
The National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers, Inc, a 501.(c).(3) non-profit, is a premier national organization representing the interests and concerns of African American, Latino and other criminal justice practitioners of color serving in law enforcement, corrections, and investigative agencies throughout the United States, and the communities in which they serve.
© 2017, BSL Systems Ltd Designed by BSL Systems Ltd