HB 4201A Use of Force study
Status (overview) of bill:https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2020S1/Measures/Overview/HB4201
Committee assigned to bill:https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2020S1/Committees/J1SS/Overview
AMENDED: establishes a committee to examine policies related to the use of force and transparency in policing and recommend legislation to committees of Legislative Assembly related to judiciary on or before December 31, 2020.
This bill transfers investigation of police use of deadly force incidents to state Attorney General who is required to appoint a special investigator, and release reports of officers even if not charged.
This creates a “guilty until proven innocent” environment [ORS 181A.790 Already requires a report to the Dept of Justice.] The Attorney General can already involve his authority on when a complaint is filled. Directs Attorney General to release reports from the investigation if criminal proceedings are not initiated. This transfer of power and centralization removes local enforcement authority and exposes every complaint whether founded or not, making it more difficult for officers to do their jobs. While the release of reports to assuage public distrust of the investigation is probably needed in today’s climate, the Attorney General’s office is not the correct venue as AG’s tend to be highly political. Rather, as ORCOPS has suggested, every incident can be required to go to a grand jury and grand jury proceedings released if officers are charged.