The Colorado chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, today released the following statement after Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed into law SB20-217, Measures To Enhance Law Enforcement Integrity:
“Today, Colorado takes an important step forward – all thanks to the tireless work of partners and advocates who have been fighting for decades for policies that acknowledge, address, and act on the police violence that continues to disproportionately impact Black people in Colorado and across the U.S.,” said Laura Reeves, volunteer with the Colorado chapter of Moms Demand Action. “These new laws put us one step closer to improving public safety, putting a stop to shootings by police, and repairing community trust.”
The introduction of SB20-217 came in response to widespread protests in Colorado and across the country following the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. Black people in the United States are far more likely to be shot and killed by law enforcement than their white counterparts, and data from Mapping Police Violence shows that most people killed by police are killed with guns. Black Americans are shot and killed by police at three times the rate of white Americans, and 227 people have been killed by police between 2013 and 2019 in Colorado.
Research finds that meaningful use of force policies reduce police shootings, including provisions in SB20-217. In addition to a revised standard for when a law enforcement officer is allowed to use deadly physical force, SB20-217 also includes important provisions such as the requirement that all law enforcement officers are provided body-worn cameras and that recordings from body-worn cameras are promptly released to the public following an incident; the development of a public database that includes comprehensive data about all use of force incidents; and the requirement that law enforcement regularly report all such uses of force to the Department of Public Safety.