Thursday’s Law Enforcement Accountability Task Force Meeting

Below is a transcript of the meeting generated by YouTube – It’s possible that there are errors or typos in the transcript  – Watching the video is the most accurate option.

– Good morning everyone.
00:58
I’m Representative Franklin Cooke Jr. and I’m the Co-Chair
01:09
of the Law Enforcement Accountability Task Force and
01:10
I’m glad everyone is here today. Let me start the meeting by
01:17
reading the following: Concurrent with
01:29
House Concurrent Resolution one, during a public emergency, this
01:30
body is authorized to meet virtually.
01:34
Please note there is no physical location to listen and meet
01:47
contemporaneously. Should any task force member
01:51
experience technical difficulties, please call.
01:55
The public may participate by registering via the meeting link
02:02
that is posted on the General Assembly’s website.
02:06
The public may also view this
02:13
meeting via YouTube on the General Assembly’s livestream.
02:21
The instructions for providing public comment will occur during
02:27
the public comment portion of this meeting.
02:29
Please note that votes that maybe taken shall be done by
02:36
roll call vote. Let’s begin by taking a roll
02:39
call attendance of the task force members present.
02:43
Task force members shall ensure their cameras shall remain on
02:49
for the entirety of the meeting to the best of their ability.
02:52
When your name is called, please unmute your device and confirm
03:00
your attendance. Once you have been recorded,
03:03
please mute your device for the remainder of roll call.
03:10
Representative Cooke here. Chief R.L. Hughes?
03:13
– Present.
03:17
– Can
03:21
everybody hear me? Chief R.L. Hughes?
03:22
– Here.
03:27
– Darryl Parson? – Here.
03:33
– Larry Johnson? – Present.
03:35
– Representative Briggs King? – Present.
03:42
– Senator Brian Pettyjohn? – Present.
03:48
Present. – James Liguori?
04:02
– Good morning. – Spencer Price, which is a
04:06
non-voting member.
04:14
Melissa Zebley? – Present.
04:18
– Brendan O’Neill? – I’m here.
04:21
– Michelle Taylor? – Present.
04:24

04:50
Bernice Edwards? – Here.
04:51
– Sherese Brewington-Carr? – Here.
04:53
– Chief Patrick Ogden? – Good morning everyone.
04:57
I’m here. – No, I can’t hear.
05:01
Stand by for a second everyone.
05:46
Since this is the final presentation of the
05:52
recommendations of the Transparency and Accountability
05:56
Subcommittee and police reforms.
06:06
Let’s look at our minutes from our last meeting.
06:11
Does anyone have any changes? – I move it is approved.
06:17
– It has been motioned and seconded.
06:21
I will take roll call again. Representative Cooke yes.
06:26
Chief R.L. Hughes? – Yes.
06:29
– Larry Johnson? – Yes.
06:31
– Representative Briggs King? – Yes.
06:34
– Senator Brian Pettyjohn? – Yes.
06:37
– James Liguori? – Yes.
06:41
– Kathy Jennings? – Yes.
06:44
– Melissa Zebley? – Yes.
06:47
– Brendan O’Neill? – Yes.
06:49
– Michelle Taylor? – Yes.
06:52

06:57
Bernice Edwards? Ron Handy?
06:58
– Yes. – Sherese Brewington-Carr?
07:01
– Yes. – Lieutenant Thomas Brackin?
07:12
Lieutenant Calhoun? – Yes.
07:14
– Chief Patrick Ogden? – Yes.
07:17
– Thank you. We have unanimous.
07:20
Now, we will have a final
07:25
subcommittee presentation from Transparency and Accountability
07:29
Subcommittee and I will turn it over to subchair, James Liguori.
07:34
James? – Thank you.
07:37
Before we begin, I want to echo everything that was said on
07:42
April 29th. I want to personally thank all
07:45
of the members of the subcommittee that I was on for
07:48
their honest and thoughtful conversations and the submitted
07:54
recommendations. As I told you, the
07:56
recommendations were unanimous and hard to believe based on the
08:00
diversity of our Committee. However, everyone was
08:05
thoughtful, and respectful, and honest I believe in approaching
08:10
in what we believe to be our task.
08:13
And basically, I also want to take this moment to thank the
08:19
obvious that being Sarah and Alexa.
08:25
They always helped us. We imposed on them and they came
08:30
through for us. So, I want to thank Sarah and
08:41
Alexa. At our last subcommittee
08:44
meeting, on April 29th, we believe that we had an
08:51
aggressive agenda that touched on hot button topics.
08:55
If you remember on April 29th, Bernice Edwards and Larry
09:02
Johnson talking about restoring the trust in policing.
09:06
That’s how we approached our responsibility.
09:09
The overarching theme was to increase transparency and
09:18
accountability. That’s something that we believe
09:20
needs to be done to restore trust in policing.
09:24
Knowing that we would have differences that would need
09:28
further discussion, we reached our goals by a thoughtful
09:33
discussion, like I said, voted on and submitted these seven
09:38
recommendations. Now, you have the seven
09:42
recommendations in front of you. I think they were again sent out
09:44
earlier for the third time by Alexa.
09:47
And with them, I also asked Alexa to send you not only our
09:53
exhibits that we rely upon, but also, for lack of a better term
09:59
I call the synopsis, the contents of our recommendations.
10:03
That synopsis is about two pages that is attached to our
10:08
recommendations. So, with that in mind, I guess
10:14
we will address and vote upon these recommendations.
10:18
And the
10:21
first one was to restructure and expand the council on police
10:29
training to include more civilians and provide more
10:33
authority in decertifying law enforcement officers at a
10:40
minimum. So, Representative Cooke, that’s
10:43
our first recommendation. Do you want to take that now?
10:47
Individually, I think that we have to vote on those.
10:51
– Yes, we will take that now and we will do a roll call, okay?
10:57
– Mr. Liguori, this is R.L. Hughes.
11:03
Will you repeat that recommendation again.
11:07
That’s not number one on my list that I have here.
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– I’m sorry, R.L. It is restructure and expand the
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council on police training to include more civilians and
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authority in decertifying a law enforcement officer.
11:33
Maybe you can find what Alexa sent the other day?
11:37
– I got it. Thank you.
11:39
– It is hard to get things to Georgetown, Delaware sometimes.
11:44
– It is. It is.
11:46
– I don’t know if the two other people from Georgetown have it.
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– It says something about R.L. maybe.
11:56
– Mr. Chair, point of order, I think that we should have a
12:02
motion and a discussion before we do a roll call.
12:07
– Okay, so I would move that we discuss and just vote upon our
12:13
first recommendation. – This is R.L. Hughes.
12:17
I would second that motion.
12:22
– So, I guess if we could — are we going to vote on the
12:29
discussion or vote on the recommendation?
12:31
– Point of order if I could. Just routinely, you move and
12:39
second and you call for the question to discuss.
12:40
– Yes.
12:44
So, we’re at that point of discussion.
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Representative, that’s up to you.
12:49
– Yes, we can have discussion. – Thank you.
12:52
I have a question, Mr. Liguori. If you could explain a little
12:59
bit more when you talk about expanding and authority because
13:02
we also in the
13:12
Workforce Development Committee had a discussion about improving
13:17
and can you speak to what the specifics are in that
13:24
recommendation, please? – I believe there is.
13:25
I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to interrupt you, Sherese.
13:29
– I’m fine. I’m just waiting for you.
13:33
– I believe the approach would be that there is a lot of
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overlap in what we are doing and that’s why I asked the synopsis
13:45
is included. If you turn the page, you see
13:48
our synopsis on the
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council for police training. I don’t want to pick out one or
13:57
two because I know that our Committee discussed many reasons
14:02
about this recommendation. So, on Page 5 of the attachment,
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it talks about what we discussed in expanding the membership and
14:13
authority on the council on
14:42
police training. One of the discussion points was
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to remove the authority from the Delaware State Police and
14:51
transfer to the federal Department of Justice.
14:56
– Even though these recommendations are out there,
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that’s why I asked for a little bit more detail than just
15:09
referencing the page number. We found that COPT is already
15:17
under Homeland Security. So, I’m just asking what is
15:22
different and what you are asking for?
15:25
– I believe that the Homeland Security and Melissa Zebley can
15:31
help me comes under the Delaware State Police.
15:35
– Both are true in the char man
15:43
is the Homeland Security, but the day-to-day is the Delaware
15:52
State Police. This would have all of that
15:56
working knowledge of COPT fall under the secretary.
16:02
There by allowing him to
16:13
organize strait a better work group.
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If that answers your question, but I’m happy to any others if
16:21
it didn’t. – No.
16:23
I’m very clear about the authority.
16:26
We made the recommendation as well.
16:29
And in workforce development subcommittee, we discussed it be
16:34
re-branded and the day-to-day, as you said, Colonel Zebley and
16:44
not any state police entity in Delaware State Police per se.
16:49
This heaps — keeps it in Delaware State Police.
16:58
When we looked in the research and outside of the system, as
17:03
well as accountability of the Governor’s Office.
17:06
It is making sure if there is not cross pollination that we go
17:12
back what we have already recommended as a committee.
17:16
– Mr. Chair, this is R.L. – R.L. go ahead.
17:22
– Sherese, I understand what you are saying here, but I see these
17:27
both as two trains heading down the same path.
17:31
They are both asking for the transparency.
17:34
I think they both have very good pieces to them.
17:39
They can be combined moving forward, but I think that the
17:45
thrust of this is the same thing that our Committee is looking
17:49
at. I think that it is important for
17:51
us to show our support and continue with both pieces that
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these committees worked very hard on.
18:01
The training piece is going to be very important in the future
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and the transparency piece that are offered, both are great.
18:11
The momentum for untethering and adding more members to the
18:17
commission is very important. – Representative Briggs King?
18:20
– Thank you. Just a couple questions and
18:23
points of clarification if I may?
18:27
When talking about the proposal, the recommendation.
18:32
It says, “to allow the entity to conduct their own investigation
18:38
for desertification.” Just a question and how many
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times is an officer going to go through this certification and
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process? It seems to me it is going to be
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done at the local level, internal affairs, and passed on
19:03
to someone else. For clarification, how many
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times is this person going to have to stand before a judgment,
19:14
if you will? It appears more than one.
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– It is more than one. Please correct me if I’m wrong
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everybody, but I think that it would be three.
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It would be the local
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internal affairs makes a determination and the criminal
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justice appeal and then it could go to the Council on Police
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Training to certify them. So, a minimum two, maybe three.
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– Okay. And a follow-up question.
19:48
A lot of this discussion and we keep seeing LEOBOR, but we have
19:54
never talked about the police chief process.
19:57
Is there an assumption here that the police chief is never going
20:03
to go through this process if there is an allegation?
20:08
I’m trying to figure out where they fit in here.
20:15
I don’t think they should have anything beyond what the regular
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officer has. Has that been discussed?
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– There hasn’t been a discussion within our subcommittee.
20:29
– Would you say, and I think that the police chief,
20:32
especially, in smaller departments, I don’t want them
20:37
to have the same thing they are requiring of their officers.
20:40
– I agree. There also maybe some
20:46
contractual differences too. The local police chief might
20:52
have an employment contract different that gives him or her
20:58
different rights. – But if we’re going — and
21:01
yesterday, we had a long discussion about collective
21:06
bargaining agreements and how it renders over to the body cameras
21:10
and I think that if we are going to do this, it needs to be
21:17
comprehensive and at some point, needs to be a discussion because
21:22
the police chief will be engaged and wearing body cameras too.
21:29
I think that it is important there is an
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expectancy the same for the police chief as the officers, et
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cetera. – We didn’t address it,
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Representative, but I agree with you.
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– Anymore discussion? Now, we will call for a roll
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call vote on this
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first recommendation. Representative Frank Cooke yes.
22:01
Chief R.L. Hughes? – Yes.
22:04
– Darryl Parson? – Yes.
22:09
– Larry Johnson? – Yes.
22:14
– Representative Ruth Briggs King?
22:16
– Yes. – Senator Brian Pettyjohn?
22:21
– Yes. – James Liguori?
22:23
– Yes.
22:28
– Kathy Jennings?
22:34
Proxy? – Yes.
22:37
– Melissa Zebley? – Yes.
22:40
– Brendan O’Neill? – Yes.
22:44
– Michelle Taylor? – Yes.
22:48
– Bernice Edwards? Absent.
22:52
Ron Handy? – Yes.
22:55
– Sherese Brewington-Carr? – Obestin.
23:06
– Thomas Brackin?
23:11
Lieutenant Calhoun? – Yes.
23:13
– And chief Patrick Ogden? – Yes.
23:21
– We have 13 yes, two absent,
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and one Obestin. – The
23:44
second recommendation is to create civilian review boards.
23:47
There was significant conversation about how
23:55
approaching Civilian Review Boards should be comp prized and
23:59
whether or not we need Civilian Review Boards and if they should
24:09
be local municipalities and we send to the General Assembly the
24:15
policy for
24:19
creating Civilian Review Boards for local law enforcement
24:23
agencies. – Open for discussion.
24:27
Now, let’s bring it to a vote. – Can I just make a quick point?
24:33
– Yes, chief pat Ogden.
24:59
– I think that you are going to have widespread support for the
25:06
Civilian Review Boards, but because policing is so dynamic,
25:10
I don’t think that you are going to have a lot of support from
25:15
the police for Civilian Review Boards decision-making
25:18
authority. And the Council on Police
25:21
Training is now going to be heavily favored in terms of
25:28
civilians vs. police. We are going to have ten
25:31
civilians on it and six police. And I think that is a good
25:40
measure for civilian
25:45
authorities. – Umm, I understand that the —
25:49
if there is an expansion of the Council on Police Training, that
25:55
would help obviously. But the point here is that we
25:59
were suggesting that the Legislature needs to be aware
26:05
that Civilian Review Boards for local law enforcement agencies
26:11
are imperative and that’s the way that we voted.
26:14
– I would like to now bring this to a vote.
26:18
– May I join in on that? I want to say that I think the
26:23
time is now to create Civilian Review Boards with some teeth.
26:29
Creating just another advisory board is just allowing people to
26:34
weigh in and there’s no consequences.
26:36
This is the accountability subcommittee and
26:43
an advisory subcommittee creates no additional accountability.
26:52
A Civilian Review Board with teeth can take action and
26:58
consequences and I think what
27:08
is needed. And with no decision-making
27:12
authority is not what is needed now.
27:15
The message and my request is that we communicate to the
27:22
General Assembly is the appropriate thing to do to make
27:26
more accountability is to have Civilian Review Boards with
27:29
authority and not just advisory stuff.
27:32
Otherwise, we are just another committee that is making
27:36
recommendations. So, that’s what I think that we
27:38
ought to do. – Anymore discussion?
27:40
– Yes, Mr. Chair, if I could please?
27:44
– Senator Brian Pettyjohn? – Thank you, sir.
27:48
This is one I actually take an
27:54
issue with. A Civilian Review Board, the
27:56
members of the will you say — public that are contained within
28:04
the Civilian Review Board, I have no problem with.
28:07
But there is no professionally
28:18
regulated review board in Delaware that are made up of
28:26
people that don’t know
28:32
the profession. The Civilian Review Board having
28:34
that much authority over the police is I think a mistake and
28:42
not what we need to do in terms of the professionals making
28:46
decisions and basing it off of the actions of the other
28:51
professionals in this profession.
28:52
We don’t do it with plumbers, dentists, doctors, or anybody
28:59
else. I think that starting to go down
29:02
this avenue where we have individuals who are not part of
29:05
the job and don’t know the job and the ins and outs and the
29:13
dangers of that job inherently because they have not done that
29:20
job and giving them teeth, as I have heard, I think sets a very
29:28
bad precedent moving forward for all of our professions out there
29:34
that are regulated in the State. – Senator, I understand your
29:40
position. In my view, in no other
29:44
profession does the government, the State, or the local
29:52
municipality give the workforce the right to use weapons against
29:59
civilians. Dentists and doctors are not
30:04
authorized to use force under any circumstances.
30:06
There is a big difference because this is a period of long
30:12
disgruntlement of the public they are intended to serve.
30:17
And in most cases they do. But when you have one that steps
30:21
over the line, this is one way they can be held accountable.
30:27
No other profession has the authority to use force against
30:32
their customers or patrons and I think that’s where there is a
30:36
difference. I understand your position.
30:38
It is legitimate, I just disagree with it.
30:44
– This is hue — lieutenant Calhoun.
30:51
I mandate that attorneys and judges still yield some power
30:59
over individuals that are out there.
31:01
I don’t think that it is fair for police officers to be tried
31:09
three times in-house in
31:28
Civilian Review Boards. So, I’m a no vote on this.
31:34
– Anymore discussion? Since there is no more
31:39
discussion, I would move to a vote.
31:42
Larry Johnson? – Yes.
31:49
– Representative Ruth Briggs King?
31:52
– No.
31:56
– Senator Brian Pettyjohn? – No.
32:01
– James Liguori? – Yes.
32:06
– Kathy Jennings? – Yes.
32:14
– Melissa Zebley? – No.
32:18
– Brendan O’Neill? – Yes.
32:23
– Michelle Taylor?
32:31
Michelle Taylor?
32:38
Absent.
32:42
Bernice Edwards? Absent.
32:47
Ron Handy? – Yes.
32:52
– Sherese Brewington-Carr? – No, not
33:08
as presented. – Thomas Brackin?
33:11
Absent. Fred Calhoun?
33:14
– No. – Patrick Ogden?
33:17
– No.
33:20
– Darryl Parson? – Yes.
33:25
– Chief R.L. Hughes? – No.
33:31
– And myself is no
33:36
as presented. Now, we move to number three —
33:39
hold on. I’m sorry.
33:40
We have six
33:45
yes, eight nos, three absent, one abstain.
33:50
Now, let’s move to number three. – Well, number three is you
33:54
know, the elephant in the room and that’s to review and
34:03
amend law enforcement officers bill off Rights.
34:11
There is a number of proposed legislation that was submitted
34:16
that we included in our exhibits and the subcommittee determined
34:22
unanimously that this was something that obviously, we
34:26
need to address immediately to increase transparency and police
34:31
accountability. Knowing full well there are
34:38
aspects of recommendation number
34:43
four about FOIA obligations that also impact this.
34:46
We broke it down into a recommendation to review and
34:52
amend LEOBOR. I will leave it at that.
34:57
That’s the number three recommendation.
35:00
– Now open for discussion. There is no discussion let’s
35:03
move to a vote. – I have a point.
35:06
– I’m sorry. – I apologize.
35:09
I just have a question really. I have been engaged in this task
35:14
force and all of the subcommittees throughout this
35:18
process and we are going to take a vote on amending LEOBOR with
35:25
making transparency an important part of it, but I’m not sure
35:29
what that means or what step? I understand if an officer is
35:34
found in violation of something, they are terminated.
35:37
I don’t have any objection with making that public, but we are
35:44
making a recommendation and taking a vote on something that
35:48
I’m not sure what it is. I don’t think that any of us
35:52
know what it is.
35:56
The Devil is in the details and I haven’t seen any details on
36:03
this. – In our discussion, the details
36:06
were varied and not determining what details to use, we came to
36:12
a compromise where we basically just talk about asking the
36:16
General Assembly to review and amend LEOBOR because we think
36:20
that it is necessary at this point in time to review and
36:22
amend LEOBOR to add to the restoring of the trust in the
36:28
public because many people thought that LEOBOR was — parts
36:32
of LEOBOR were secret and those kind of things.
36:38
So, Chief, to answer your question, the recommendation
36:43
simply is to review and amend. And we have submitted
36:51
many, many variations of amendments for LEOBOR.
36:55
I leave it to the Legislature. – I guess any other point that I
37:01
will make and speaking on behalf of the police chiefs, we want to
37:06
embrace transparency for sure. But I’m not sure of any other
37:11
profession where human resource information is posted publicly.
37:16
I mean, if there’s a — you know, in your law office if
37:23
there is an issue, I’m not sure that’s public.
37:27
Now, if an officer is terminated, most certainly, I
37:34
agree with that. I’m just cautious because I
37:37
don’t know the details is all. I want to say publicly the
37:44
police chiefs embrace the issue of transparency, but not in
37:49
favor of doing it through LEOBOR.
37:51
I think that we can increase police transparency without
37:58
making it part of the LEOBOR. – Well, the subcommittee thought
38:02
it was important to review and
38:08
amend to increase police transparency.
38:10
– To chief Ogden’s point, to amend and
38:20
review is through the Civilian Review Boards and that’s a line
38:24
out of the context of why this was proposed.
38:28
– Correct. As well as transparency and
38:32
accountability for the disciplinary procedures.
38:34
Yes. – My concern is that we have —
38:39
this is Frank Calhoun. I thought we were going to
38:47
review and amend through the Civilian Review Boards and if
38:51
they see the need to amend it and not review and amend.
38:56
It leads them to believe they have to review and amend it.
39:02
I think that it is just a play on words there for me, sir.
39:08
– All right. I think that it was unanimous
39:14
consent was to review and
39:19
amend LEOBOR. – Mr. Chairman, may I be
39:26
recognized? – Sherese?
39:27
– Thank you. If I’m not mistaken in our last
39:32
session, did we not
39:41
reference LEOBOR with the police community and the current
39:45
offense and maybe the staff can help us with that just as a
39:50
point of discussion and we did amend and affirm specifically as
39:57
it related to LEOBOR and this discussion around transparency.
40:00
I think that if we are talking about review and amend as needed
40:05
is one thing versus the way it is stated.
40:09
If the Chair persons would be willing after hearing the
40:15
feedback from the previous recommendation that I think that
40:19
we did affirm as a task force,
40:25
then perhaps, that would address some concern.
40:29
Do we have that detail? – Hold on.
40:33
– I think it was community policing.
40:36
– Yes, if you refer to your minutes that you just approved,
40:42
it is on I believe Page 3, on the top of Page 3 of the minutes
40:46
that were just approved. Number
40:51
one reads “pass administrative amendments to LEOBOR to increase
40:56
transparency and accountability, thus improving trust in the
41:05
community.” – Did everybody hear that?
41:07
Did everybody hear that? – It faded out towards the end
41:13
for me. I’m sorry.
41:14
– Can you read that one more time, please?
41:17
– Thank you, Sarah. – Sure.
41:22
It is introduce and pass significant amendments to LEOBOR
41:29
to increase
41:36
transparency and police accountability thus improving
41:40
trust in the community. – Thank you.
41:45
– Mr. Chairman? – Representative Ruth Briggs
41:49
King? – Thank you.
41:51
I was also going to comment in our last meeting, we took some
42:00
steps under use of force and transparency and whether it be
42:08
under workforce development or LEOBOR and there is several
42:14
discussions about increasing police transparency and some of
42:17
this discussion has been a bit more specific and the things
42:23
that I’m reading into this current one is just a little too
42:27
broad. I like what we have done in
42:30
different areas that will
42:35
increase transparency and accountability anding — and
42:44
making sure there are resources to do that, as well.
42:47
There are specific items that I like a lot better than this
42:53
broad statement to amend the Bill of Rights because I think
42:58
that we have taken more specific steps in prior action.
43:02
– Thank you. Anymore discussion?
43:05
– Yeah, I don’t know if we have addressed the specific issue of
43:10
the defendant in a criminal case having the right to discovery of
43:17
a police officer witness’ disciplinary record.
43:26
And apparently, LEOBOR prohibits that from being disclosed, but
43:34
it has great bearing on the police officer’s accountability.
43:41
And in the other subcommittees, that never came to the forefront
43:46
and something that the General Assembly can decide whether that
43:48
is appropriate or not? And we are just saying as a
43:53
general recommendation, we ought to examine LEOBOR and where
43:59
appropriate, fix it. The fact is that we have done it
44:01
in a number of instances as Representative Ruth Briggs King
44:09
has indicated. So, I fail to see the harm.
44:11
And I have to say, some of the stances in the vote that we have
44:15
seen today, rightfully or wrongfully, create the
44:20
impression that the law enforcement community is kind of
44:23
stone walling this thing. The last two recommendations.
44:27
I’m not saying that it is that way, but the people in the
44:33
community are going to see it that way.
44:35
And that’s something that we have to be concerned about.
44:39
That’s my reason for supporting recommendation number three.
44:43
– Let me go a little bit further on this and the suggestion that
44:48
Mr. O’Neill made was included in the legislation that was
44:53
submitted by the Office of Defense Services.
44:55
That was a five page document that we reviewed and we compared
45:03
it with the ACLU’s version of amending LEOBOR.
45:09
We compared it with Senator Lockman’s suggestion with regard
45:14
to amendments to LEOBOR. And the point was that we were
45:18
not going to draft any legislation.
45:19
We were going to bring these issues to the attention of the
45:23
General Assembly and let the General Assembly choose what
45:25
they wanted. And that’s why we
45:33
left it in terms of review and amend LEOBOR and the Legislature
45:38
can pick and choose from our submissions what if anything
45:43
they want to do. Yes, that was addressed with
45:51
divulging to police council what goes on with a police officer.
45:53
– I want to be clear this is recommendations and reforms.
45:58
This is
46:05
not legislation. The subcommittee does not write
46:07
legislation and I want to be clear about that.
46:09
That’s why we are here today. Do we have anymore discussion?
46:13
I move to start vote. Larry Johnson?
46:16
– Yes, approve. – Representative
46:24
Ruth Briggs King? – Not
46:35
as written. – Senator Brian Pettyjohn?
46:37
– Not as written. – James Liguori?
46:40
– Yes.
46:44
– Kathy Jennings? – Yes.
46:51
– Melissa Zebley? – No.
46:56
Brendan O’Neill? – Yes.
47:00
– Michelle Taylor?
47:05
Michelle Taylor?
47:10
– Yes.
47:15

47:20
Hold on. Bernice wardens?
47:22
— Edwards? Absent.
47:25
Ron Handy? – Yes.
47:27
– Sherese Brewington-Carr? – Not
47:33
as written. – Thomas Brackin
47:39
is absent. Lieutenant Fred Calhoun?
47:40
– No. – Chief Pat Ogden?
47:44
– No. – Darryl Parson?
47:47
– Yes.
47:51
– Chief R.L. Hughes? – No.
48:00
– Myself, no, not as written. We have seven yes, four nos, two
48:10
absent and four not as written. Let’s move on to number four.
48:16
– Point of order. Can you read the count for me,
48:24
please? – So, it will be eight nos.
48:28
Correct? – That’s what I have.
48:31
– Yes. I was just explaining it as not
48:35
as written and I thought that everybody knew that was a no.
48:39
My apologies. – Representative Cooke, before
48:46
we move forward, if we can take issue and make sure that we keep
48:53
our remarks on how we are voting.
48:57
I want to make sure that we don’t despairage the intention
49:05
of others and I want to be mindful of colleagues.
49:09
– Yes, I hope that everyone heard that clearly.
49:13
Let’s respect each other and each other’s vote.
49:18
Let’s move on to number four. – Well, number four is the
49:23
elephant in the room about collective bargaining agreements
49:27
and FOIA
49:33
obligations interfere with the law enforcement officer’s Bill
49:40
of Rights. The point is there are certain
49:46
collective bargaining matters that talk about transparency and
49:48
what would be released and not released and we know that has to
49:53
be modified if we, in fact, want to change LEOBOR to be more
49:59
transparency and we wanted to address that to the attention of
50:24
the General Assembly. – Any discussion?
50:26
– Representative, I want to be clear, what exactly is the
50:33
recommendation? – That collective bargaining
50:40
agreements interfere with the transparency and the police
50:50
officers Bill of Rights doesn’t add to transparency.
50:52
– It sounds like more of a statement than a recommendation.
50:56
I wanted to be clear what exactly is the recommendation?
51:01
And I’m sorry, it is just unclear to me and I don’t know
51:05
if it is anybody else? – It is, yeah.
51:08
– It is a statement and a statement with regard what we
51:13
believe that the General Assembly needs to
51:18
review. It is our recommendation that
51:21
they address this matter. – Representative Briggs King?
51:25
– Thank you. I guess I would like a few
51:29
specific examples of what that is.
51:31
Because just like anybody else, you say, “collective bargaining
51:40
agreements”. What is in
51:46
a collective bargaining agreement that goes beyond
51:51
LEOBOR? Because I can go and look at
51:53
some of the collective bargaining agreements for
51:56
teachers and there are some things that can’t be disclosed
52:01
about them. So, an apple for apple and what
52:06
things are we talking about that under a FOIA is not
52:13
discoverable? – Yes.
52:14
To me, the most important one and it was discussed to the fact
52:22
that you can disclose something that is substantiated
52:30
or
52:33
unsubstantiated. And they talk about collective
52:38
bargaining agreements superseding LEOBOR in regards to
52:42
the transparency and accountability and we thought it
52:46
needed to be addressed by the General Assembly and hopefully,
52:50
add to the change of the law enforcement officer’s Bill of
53:02
Rights. Representative Briggs King, it
53:04
is just a difficult thing to address with the fact there is
53:08
an appearance of hiding behind — there is an appearance of
53:13
having difficulty
53:17
with FOIA and collective bargainings and getting matters
53:22
to be transparency with police
53:34
disciplinary actions. – I’m sorry.
53:36
And I see you member Johnson over there.
53:40
I apologize. I just need a little more
53:45
clarification and is the recommendation something along
53:48
the lines — and I’m not putting words in your mouth, but is it
53:57
to review contracting agreements?
53:59
– It is for the Legislature to appreciate there are problems
54:04
with collective bargaining agreements and FOIA that need to
54:07
be addressed along with the amending LEOBOR.
54:13
That’s what the recommendation
54:27
was. – Larry simps?
54:30
— Johnson? – I’m having a little bit of
54:36
difficulty trying to parse
54:40
out
54:44
the freedom of information portion of this.
54:48
I’m having difficulty understanding what your meaning
54:51
is that FOIA is
54:56
an
54:59
obstacle to transparency. Please elaborate.
55:03
– It is along the lines whether or not during litigation, what
55:10
maybe litigation, what can be with he would.
55:13
That’s where we are coming from, Mr. Johnson.
55:16
– Well, in my professional understanding, there are only
55:21
nine things that can be removed or redacted from
55:28
a freedom of
55:33
f Information Act request and that’s something that yep
55:40
jeopardizing national security. I’m having difficulty
55:47
understanding besides LEOBOR,
55:55
those three items and an Freedom of Information Act request would
56:00
complicate these things? – It is the police officer’s
56:04
ability to say there is potential litigation and
56:08
therefore, that potential litigation could inhibit or
56:13
restrict what would be disclosed by the internal affairs
56:19
investigation. – With that being said, if the
56:22
officers are acting in their official capacity, that
56:26
information is not shielded
56:42
by FOIA. I’m having difficulty
56:44
understanding if that is something in the Delaware
56:47
legislation that is different than the federal legislation,
56:58
which I’m familiar with. Under the federal FOIA, if the
57:01
officer is acting in an official capacity, that information is
57:10
available through FOIA. – The potential litigation might
57:13
prevent the information being disclosed during the IA process.
57:18
– So, you are saying that the IA process being delib ative is a
57:24
reason why the information can’t be released?
57:27
– Maybe the litigation as to what occurs would prohibit that.
57:34
– That seems contrary to what FOIA is for.
57:38
Maybe we need to be looking at the FOIA statute instead?
57:43
– That’s why we thought there are some issues in regards to
57:47
FOIA that need to be addressed when we amend LEOBOR.
57:52
– Okay. I can see your point.
57:55
But it just shows and says to me that there is something
58:01
drastically wrong with our disclosure process if that is
58:06
the case. I would have to see some
58:09
examples, so I can do more in-depth analysis.
58:13
But I appreciate your focus on this issue.
58:16
– And that was the focus of the subcommittee also.
58:19
– Okay. – Could I offer a potential
58:24
compromise? Could the language that you
58:28
referenced, the same as the rest of our reports where we made
58:35
statements and exposed concerns and legislation and that’s
58:42
included without the benefit of an official recommendation.
58:46
Can we just include that in your committee’s report, which is
58:52
already public? I’m having a challenge seeing
58:54
there is a specific recommendation.
58:56
But to ask the General Assembly to appreciate is not an
59:03
actionable item. So, that’s just what I’m trying
59:06
to get to. And we don’t have to, you know,
59:09
have you reference something or have something come up as a
59:16
result, but if that is a declarative statement that the
59:22
Committee feels strongly about, you include it, but it doesn’t
59:27
require an action, in my mind, from this Committee, unless the
59:34
Chair sees it different. – I will include this was
59:39
discussed at length that we include the carve out and
59:44
request to the General Assembly to make sure they address the
59:50
FOIA obligations and what might hamper that.
59:53
I will leave it up to the Chair as how they might want to
59:59
proceed with that recommendation.
60:00
– James, you can present it to us and we can present it to
60:07
whoever the sponsor is of putting together a bill that
60:11
they can take this into consideration in the General
60:14
Assembly. – I don’t know if that
60:22
answers Ms. Sherese Brewington-Carr’s —
60:25
whatever the pleasure of the Chair is.
60:29
But I don’t want to do anything other than what the Committee
60:39
unanimously suggested I do. – Okay.
60:41
Any further discussion? I would like to move to a vote.
60:47
R.L. Hughes? – No.
60:49
– Darryl Parson? – Yes.
60:53
– Larry Johnson? – No.
60:57
– Ruth Briggs King? – No.
61:00
– Senator Brian Pettyjohn? – No.
61:05
– James Liguori? – Yes.
61:09
– Kathy Jennings? – Yes.
61:17
– Melissa Zebley? – No.
61:21
– Brendan O’Neill? – Yes.
61:24
– Michelle Taylor? – Yes.
61:31
– Bernice Edwards absent. Ron Handy?
61:34
– Yes.
61:38
– Sherese Brewington-Carr? – No,
61:44
as presented. – Thomas Brackin?
61:47
Fred Calhoun? – No.
61:52
– Chief Patrick Ogden? – No.
61:55
– We have six yes and nine nos. And two absent.
62:03
Now, can we move on to number five?
62:06
– Number five, the subcommittee’s recommendation to
62:09
you all was to create a law enforcement officer disciplinary
62:18
database that at a minimum provides law enforcement
62:21
agencies access for hiring decisions.
62:25
And then, law enforcement agencies would need to input
62:30
both substantiated and unsubstantiated complaints and
62:36
accompanying disciplinary actions.
62:37
This was discussed a lot so that one officer can’t go to another
62:44
jurisdiction without what happened at the first one
62:48
following him. And additionally, the issue to
62:52
regard of substantiated and unsubstantiated, which was
62:59
debated a lot and a point very well taken is
63:05
that the unsubstantiated complaints might identify a
63:08
culture of abuse. And the fact that it was
63:14
unsubstantiated, we could offer a database with regard to that
63:19
without identifying the particular officer, just the
63:24
department. That there are a number of use
63:26
of force issues that go on that need to be addressed at the
63:30
culture of the department. So, I would ask that you
63:36
consider number five. – Representative Ruth Briggs
63:37
King? – Thank you.
63:38
I was just going to say in our minutes and notes, I think that
63:43
we previously discussed this too in another section about wanting
63:47
to increase the transparency and how that would come and that
63:52
process is — and that would come under the legislative
63:58
thing, though. But it is difficult to manage
64:01
this when we have different resources, both capital and
64:07
human resources in various departments and everything.
64:10
But I do think that we address this and make recommendations in
64:16
our other areas. I’m trying to look through the
64:21
notes now. I don’t know if anyone else has
64:25
any recollection and we had this discussion.
64:27
– We did. And that the databases were
64:33
problematic and we lifted a couple best practice models,
64:37
which included the University of Delaware where you have
64:41
information about substantiated and unsubstantiated, et cetera,
64:45
and we thought that needed to be a universal application to all
64:50
police departments and that it would be public on their media
64:54
pages or whatever, so we had that information on an ongoing
65:02
basis real-time. – Also, because there is so much
65:04
overlap and what we discussed before, we identified certain
65:09
areas that are important I think to put in this database
65:14
collection. You will see them in our
65:16
handout. Date of the incident.
65:18
Type of complaint. The age, sex, and race of
65:26
the officer. Complaintant age, sex, and
65:32
raise. And if the complaint was
65:37
substantiated and unsubstantiated.
65:37
I know there is a lot of overlap with this.
65:40
– Those are the same recommendations, Jim, that’s
65:45
exactly what they do at
65:50
UD, as well. And specifically, the
65:53
demographic information with the age, gender, and all of those
65:58
things it is internal within the police entity, as well as
66:02
external to
66:05
the public. – That is correct because we
66:08
related to the model from UD. – We talked about transparency
66:13
in a database and looking at the database in the State of
66:17
Delaware. Yes.
66:26
There are some databases that some people are looking at here
66:33
as we speak. – And in the one on workforce
66:37
development and the subcommittee recommendations about data
66:40
collection and where we talked about the factor, frequency,
66:44
number of incidents, discharge. It was a bit more detailed than
66:50
this. I think that we are all moving
66:53
in the same direction, but just stating it a little bit
66:57
differently. – That is correct.
66:58
– Can we move to a vote? Representative Cooke yes.
67:03
Chief R.L. Hughes? – Yes.
67:08
– Darryl Parson? – Yes.
67:11
– Larry Johnson? – Yes.
67:14
– Ruth Briggs King? – Yes.
67:21
– Senator Brian Pettyjohn? – Yes.
67:23
– James Liguori? – Yes.
67:26
– Kathy Jennings? – Yes.
67:32
– Melissa Zebley? – Yes.
67:38
– Brendan O’Neill? – Yes.
67:39
– Michelle Taylor? – Yes.
67:43
– Bernice Edwards absent. Ron Handy?
67:48
– Yes. – Sherese Brewington-Carr?
67:50
– Yes.
67:54
– Thomas Brackin is absent. Lieutenant Fred Calhoun?
68:00
– Yes. – And Chief Pat Ogden?
68:02
– Yes. – Unanimously is voted yes from
68:08
all. Let’s move on to number six.
68:10
– Number
68:14
six is to we’ve asked you to consider sending to the
68:18
Legislature our recommendation to increase the public’s access
68:24
to already desertification decisions made by the Council on
68:32
Police Training and to be placed in a state depository and not
68:36
just the national desertification database.
68:40

68:46
Any discussion? Let’s move to a vote.
68:49
Representative Frank Cooke yes. Chief R.L. Hughes?
68:52
– Yes. – Darryl Parson?
68:54
– Yes. – Larry Johnson?
68:57
– Yes.
69:00
– Ruth Briggs King? – Yes.
69:07
– Senator Brian Pettyjohn? – Yes.
69:11
– James Liguori? – Yes.
69:15
– Kathy Jennings? – Yes.
69:19
– Melissa Zebley? – Yes.
69:23
– Brendan O’Neill? – Yes.
69:29
– Michelle Taylor? – Yes.
69:33
– Bernice Edwards absent. Ron Handy?
69:36
– Yes. – Sherese Brewington-Carr?
69:38
– Yes.
69:41
– Tom Brackin is absent. Fred Calhoun?
69:44
– Yes. – And Brackin has been trying to
69:48
get on. He’s having a hard time getting
69:51
on. – Okay, thank you.
69:52
– And Chief Pat Ogden? – Yes.
69:56
– Okay, two absent and 15 yes. Can we move on to number seven.
70:04
– Sure. Very candidly, the last
70:08
recommendation to me, and I included it, because that’s what
70:13
the Committee wanted is part of what think is number five.
70:19
That would be creating a law enforcement database to provide
70:23
the public with information on citizens made, substantiated
70:29
complaints, unsubstantiated complaints and disciplinary
70:34
actions for each law enforcement agency.
70:37
Apparently, we discussed at length the public should be
70:42
provided with an easily accessible depository of this
70:48
information. And the subcommittee wanted to
70:50
carve it out and give it extra attention.
70:54
But respectfully, quite candidly, I think that we have
70:59
addressed it in number five. – Any discussion?
71:02
– I recommend that we don’t and if Mr. Liguori is in agreement,
71:08
no need to hold a vote. – Well, I can tell you that it
71:14
is — I think
71:18
that it is subsumed in number five very candidly, but I will
71:24
leave it up to the Chair person to decide how they want to
71:28
handle that. – My recommendation would be to
71:32
go ahead and merge 5 and 7.
71:37
– Umm, Mr. Chair, I’ve got a problem merging another
71:43
recommendation with one that we have already voted on.
71:46
– I think that because it is public record, we just go ahead
71:53
and vote on it. Just to be clear.
71:56
We have this out. – And to be very candidcandidly,
72:05
my subcommittee had this carved out.
72:07
I’m bringing to your attention what they asked me to do.
72:11
– This is very broad and it is not saying that it has to name
72:16
an officer or anything else. It could be just a report by an
72:20
agency. Certainly, you want to make
72:23
allowances in some cases where you have a new officer that does
72:26
something, they are reprimanded and there is an improvement plan
72:31
and it never happens again. For certain reasons, I think
72:36
that it doesn’t need to disclose the name.
72:39
Although, this doesn’t say that, I think that it would be for
72:45
consideration down the line. – Thank you and yes.
72:47
– And because this is public record and it is out, I think
72:51
that we should just vote on it and that’s what I’m going to
72:57
recommend. So, let’s move to a vote.
72:59
Larry Johnson?
73:14
– I’m going to
73:19
about stain. – Ruth Briggs King?
73:20
– Yes. – James Liguori?
73:23
– Yes. – Kathy Jennings?
73:26
– Yes.
73:34
– Melissa Zebley? – Yes.
73:39
– Brendan O’Neill? – Yes.
73:41
– Michelle Taylor? – Yes.
73:45
– Bernice Edwards is absent. Ron Handy?
73:47
– Yes. – Sherese Brewington-Carr?
73:52
– Yes.
73:57
– Thomas Brackin? Fred Calhoun?
74:02
– Yes.
74:06
– Chief Patrick Ogden? – Yes.
74:10
– Darryl Parson? – Yes.
74:19
– Chief R.L. Hughes? – Yes.
74:21
– And myself yes. We have 14
74:28
yes, two
74:31
absent, and one abstain. – With that, Representative
74:34
Cooke, you can see that the Committee — the subcommittee
74:40
was very engaged in what we think were needed to have for
74:47
immediate change and to hopefully, restore trust.
74:52
We would hope that this matter be sent to the General Assembly
74:56
to be addressed immediately. We thank you all for allowing us
75:01
to do this. And personally, thank you
75:06
Representative Cooke and Darryl Parson for letting Ray Armstrong
75:13
and I Co-Chair this matter. Thank you.
75:16
– Thank you so much. I want to let everybody know
75:21
that I will be contacting all of the Committee Chairs and
75:27
subcommittee Chairs with our action plan.
75:30
I want to say thank you to the countless advocates that made
75:36
their voices heard during this process.
75:38
I just want to say thank you. Now, I want to open up
75:59
to public comment. – If you would like to provide
76:02
public comment please utilize the “raise hand” function.
76:09
Denise, you may provide public comment.
76:13
You have two minutes. – Can you all hear me okay?
76:15
– Yes, ma’am. We can.
76:18
– Thank you. I would also like to see the
76:24
Attorney General’s Office held to this kind of accountability
76:27
that the police officers are being held to.
76:29
The catch and release program is not working.
76:33
It creates more chance of crime and more arrests and less
76:41
accountability for the police officers themselves.
76:43
That is going on daily. And so, I would like to see more
76:49
police accountability. And why not keep records for all
76:52
of the statistics for the police officers that have saved lives?
76:59
Saved babies, including abused children and women in domestic
77:09
violence situations? I don’t see why that couldn’t
77:13
also gain the public’s trust? Seeing the good things that the
77:19
police officers do. And in this Committee and I
77:25
hear there are people on here and especially, one person on
77:30
this Committee that doesn’t know what he is talking about.
77:32
It is very hard to listen to that person.
77:34
I think that anyone who is going to make any kind of
77:39
recommendations for police, should have at least, some
77:44
experience in the work they do. My feeling is, as a law-abiding
77:51
citizen in this state, a police officer is going to
78:00
endamager his own life because he hesitates to pull his weapon.
78:07
So, I would like to see some positivity mentioned in this.
78:11
Just leaving open-ended things for legislatures to make law on,
78:19
because you are making law, even though you state that you are
78:23
not. You are.
78:25
It is unfair and removing the ability for the police officers
78:29
to do their job correctly. – Thank you for your comment.
78:33
Your two minutes have expired. – Thank you.
78:37
– Cindy, you have been permitted to speak.
78:41
You have two minutes. – I have heard many times
78:53
professions have no oversight. I would refer you to DPR.
78:58
The unqualified practice of medicine and other certain
79:04
healthcare professions. The board of licensing in
79:08
Michigan is comprised of 16
79:14
members. Nine of which are not
79:23
doctors. If police officers would
79:27
self-report and have transparency and accountability,
79:32
we would not need Civilian Review Boards.
79:38
I’m disappointed this board is not working to make change in
79:45
some of these issues. I have two
79:53
white, middle-class teenager children who have had no
80:00
encounters with law enforcement and they don’t have trust in the
80:05
law enforcement community. You are losing a generation who
80:10
think that police officers have integrity and morals.
80:13
Please think about that. I want to see that changed.
80:15
Thank you.
80:19
– You have been permitted to speak.
80:22
You have two minutes. – Yes, thank you.
80:26
I’m a retired Presbyterian pastor and I’m grateful for your
80:35
work. I listened to your report when
80:37
it happened earlier. This is the second meeting.
80:41
As quickly as I can, I’m happy to hear what you are doing with
80:46
police. Police have a tremendously
80:51
demanding job. They need a good salary.
80:54
They need support for mental health and all kinds of things
80:58
to keep them function well. In the training and I’m glad
81:02
that you talked about training and training needs to include a
81:06
deep respect for every other human being, no matter their
81:10
circumstance or how they have offended the police.
81:12
I know that takes a lot of training, but it is extremely
81:22
crucial. I would like for you to do a
81:27
little more today. You did work on police
81:29
transparency and disciplinary matters.
81:32
The Civilian Review Boards need to be established.
81:34
It is a matter of how you structure them is the issue.
81:38
I encourage you to be a little more courageous and trust God a
81:44
little more fully because the community needs policing.
81:47
That’s a reality. And in that way, the community
81:52
still support police. But when there is like the
81:58
previous one just ahead of me, the person’s comment, when you
82:02
see abusive police, it is hard for every other policemen.
82:10
There are wonderful policemen and women out there working and
82:14
I’m extremely grateful for them. We need to keep enforcing the
82:19
positive, pay well, et cetera. Those are my comments.
82:23
Thank you for what you have done.
82:26
Your spirit, I see some opens in your spirit, as well as fear and
82:33
worry about what this all means. There needs to be an honest talk
82:40
through. Thank you for all that you are
82:42
doing for our General Assembly. – Thank you for
82:57
your comment. – I’m a Co-Chair
83:03
for the coalition for police transparency for Delaware.
83:11
I have sat in on the meetings for the other subcommittees.
83:14
I have to say I’m disappointed with the votes today from the
83:22
Transparency and Accountability Subcommittee.
83:22
To me, the three recommendations that were kind of the guts of
83:27
this subcommittee were shot down.
83:28
I understand that some of this is subsumed in some of the
83:33
recommendations from the other committees.
83:35
But I think that the symbolism of these recommendations from
83:40
this more committee, Transparency and Accountability
83:45
Subcommittee being shot down is poor.
83:47
I’m afraid that it is possible that the Legislature, without
83:53
these specific recommendations from this Committee may not see
83:59
the recommendations from the other subcommittees and they may
84:02
get buried. I think that I hear what Chief
84:10
Ogden said about recommendation number three being very broad
84:14
and not specifically stating what disclosure is sought.
84:19
Again, this is something for the Legislature to determine.
84:22
The Legislature can determine whether a disclosure of only
84:29
substantiated incidents and terminations are reported or
84:35
something broader. To the extent these three
84:38
recommendations are broad, it is okay for them to be approved.
84:41
The
84:45
Legislature can make that determination.
84:48
And I’m particularly disappointed that the
84:53
recommendation for the Civilian Review Boards was shot down.
84:55
I understand that Civilian Review Boards made up of
85:04
civilians may not address the professionals, but that’s a
85:08
decision of the board. – Thank you for your comments.
85:13
– Hi. I’m a member of the New Castle
85:18
County Chapter of the Senator justice campaign.
85:22
I would like to thank the Committee Members for their
85:26
service to this task force and all of the other subcommittees,
85:31
as well. I have attended a majority or
85:36
watched a majority of the subcommittee meetings and I know
85:40
that the Committee Members have taken the job seriously.
85:44
I’m also disappointed in today’s votes and the Committee did not
85:51
vote to support items 2, 3, and 4.
85:54
The police are given the authority by the people and
85:58
that’s why they say they serve the public and I think that the
86:04
single most effective decision that could have been made to
86:08
increase transparency and accountability would have been
86:12
the oversight of the police. And I think that there are many
86:16
communities that have done these and there are ways to address
86:20
the concerns. To not forward the
86:25
subcommittee’s recommendations for the Legislature to consider,
86:27
I’m very disappointed in that. Thanks.
86:44
– You have been permitted to speak.
86:47
You have two minutes. You have to unmute your
86:53
device. – Yes, ma’am.
86:54
I want to thank you for allowing me to be permitted to speak.
87:00
I want to read from scripture. “Keep your conscious clear so
87:08
they may see the good life that you live.”
87:13
James three. I have been in prison and been
87:22
involved with the Criminal Justice System.
87:24
That’s not a route that I wanted to go down and all of my
87:29
interaction with the Delaware State Police or any other
87:32
agency, I have always been treated with a fair amount of
87:38
respect even when I have broken
88:37
a law. – I would like to say that
88:39
policing is a proposition and the public needs the mission —
88:45
police and the police relies on the public to do
88:58
their job. We hold them in such a high
89:02
standard and we lose sight of the fact they are prone to
89:05
suffer from alcohol and drug abuse, domestic violence,
89:11
gambling problems, PTSD, depression, sexual and child
89:16
abuse to name a few. The difference is they enforce
89:20
the law and are allowed to use deadly force.
89:25
In order for the partnership to work, both parties must trust
89:31
each other. Unfortunately, this is not the
89:33
case. Due to the lack of transparency,
89:35
the public has lost faith in the police.
89:38
The public
89:42
deserves Civilian Review Boards to know that officer’s behavior
89:46
and disciplinary records are made available.
89:49
And I would like to say, a start would be to mandate that alcohol
89:54
and drug tests be done for all officers involved in use of
90:01
force incidents, especially involving deadly force.
90:04
The majority of police officers are good, decent, and hard
90:09
working individuals who take the job of protecting and serving
90:13
the public seriously. It is the few that give the
90:17
department a bad name. LEOBOR needs to have a whistle
90:25
blower provision, where police officers can report other police
90:32
officers without fear of retaliation and termination.
90:35
This can be under the purview of the Civilian Review Boards.
90:43
Until and when LEOBOR is removed —
90:54
– Your two minutes have expired. Mr. Chair, that concludes public
91:00
comment. I hope that we have demonstrated
91:03
today our commitment to seeing this process through and that we
91:07
have produced a strong roadmap
91:17
for addressing law enforcement transparency and accountability
91:21
in Delaware. I hope that we are able to take
91:23
action in the coming weeks and make positive changes and I mean
91:28
positive changes that would improve the lives of all
91:32
residents in the State of Delaware and our police
91:36
officers. I would now defer to Darryl
91:39
Parson for closing comments. – Good
91:44
morning all. The Saturday morning in June of
91:48
2020, Representative Cooke called me and asked me to
91:52
Co-Chair this task force. We discussed the growing number
91:56
of documented episodes of police misconduct, which had been
92:03
publicized in the media. And we also discussed a number
92:10
of not good, but great law enforcement officers that make a
92:16
positive impact in our communities.
92:18
And at the end of that conversation and those of you
92:25
who know Representative Cooke, you know that he can be very
92:30
persuasive, I signed on to address the racial inequities in
92:38
the community. And Michelle Taylor evoked
92:45
a proverb “if you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to
92:55
go far, go together.” When Representative Cooke and I
93:02
created the subcommittees, we deliberately invited persons
93:06
with opposing views. Debate, discussion, and even
93:11
argument are healthy ways of exchanging ideas and effectively
93:15
seeing the other side. Over the past few meetings as we
93:19
voted on the subcommittee recommendations, I think that we
93:22
have seen the opening debates and arguments that are going to
93:26
take place in the General Assembly.
93:28
I hope that exchange of information, that exchange of
93:35
ideas will continue leading to some equitable progress.
93:40
I’m proud of the work that we did.
93:42
I look forward to working with all of you.
93:44
And on behalf of Representative Cooke, I want to thank you for
93:48
your sincere service to the citizens of the State of
93:52
Delaware. Thank you again.
93:54
– I entertain a motion to adjourn.
93:58
– So moved. – Second.
94:05
– Thank you. We are adjourned and thank you.

About Staff Writer

First State Update's Delaware editorial team covers New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County breaking news, political news, and general news stories. We bring the reader the latest news from the Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Rehoboth Beach and all point in between. If you have news to share, email us at desk@firststateupdate.com.

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