As the Black Lives Matter and Police Reform protests across the nation continue into their third week, the DC City Council has taken the first step towards actual police reform in our city. While the City Council is not really able to address the serious abuses of power used by federal law enforcement against protesters in our city, the City Council is able to address these prevalent problems in the DC Metropolitan Police Department. These problems have long existed in our local police department and were forced into the national spotlight last week as thousands and thousands of citizens descended on the White House in an inspiring show of solidarity, patriotism, and use of our First Amendment right to freedom of assembly.
While the DC City Council will continue to draft and debate further legislative changes in the coming weeks, the City Council approved an emergency amendment bill on the night of June 8. Named the “Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Temporary Amendment Act of 2020,” the bill introduces a number of reforms to how the police will be allowed to behave; as well as modifying and created boards of police oversight. As it is emergency legislation, the bill would remain in effect for 90 days. If no further changes are made in those 90 days, the bill will become permanent law. Continue reading