Target: Gary Herbert, Governor of Utah
Goal: Applaud law requiring all police-involved shootings to be investigated by a third party rather than police themselves.
Outside agencies will now conduct inquiries into all officer-involved shootings in Utah thanks to a bill that has been signed into law. The law, which is designed to increase transparency during such investigations, will require that an outside party be brought in to determine whether or not police officers involved in shootings will face any criminal charges. This neutral party will be responsible for deciding whether the shooting was committed in accordance with protocol and whether it is justifiable.
The law also addresses officer well-being after the shootings and mandates that the police department pay for at least two counseling sessions for any officer involved in a shooting. At least one of these sessions will be mandatory. The bill does not name any particular agency that will be responsible for the investigations, and instead will leave it up to a district attorney to choose the most unbiased and objective option on a case-by-case basis.
According to proponents of the new law, including Fraternal Order of Police Spokesperson Ian Adams, independent investigations will facilitate unbiased inquiries. This way, issues such as evidence tampering and deliberate cover-ups by corrupt officers will become far less common. It will also improve transparency regarding police violence, allowing the community a clearer look into the details behind the shootings.
Not only will this law ensure that police officers who abuse their power by using excessive force against innocents are properly investigated and prosecuted, it could decrease police violence altogether. Several trial studies have shown that police-involved shootings and violence are reduced with increased oversight. Sign the petition below to applaud Utah’s new law, which addresses the growing problem of excessive police violence in America.
Dear Mr. Gary Herbert,
A new law will require an independent, third-party investigation into all police-involved shootings in Utah. A neutral investigator chosen by the district attorney will determine whether or not police shootings are justifiable within the context of police protocol.
This law will not only ensure that police officers are punished for excessive use of force where applicable, but will serve to deter police shootings altogether. We, the undersigned, applaud Utah’s new mandate, which will help solve America’s growing problem with excessive police violence.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Deval Kulshrestha via Creative Commons