OK, I didn’t realize until just the other day that awful incident with Army Lt Nazario and the Windsor police was here in Virginia. (I guess I was hoping it was Windsor, Ontario.)
Folks are very understandably pissed off and upset about it – because we all know if that young man hadn’t been able to get to a gas station, they would have killed him. And I hope his lawsuit will bankrupt that department. Defund them one way or another.
My county’s NAACP is pissed about it too – and whoever is running their social media right now is understandably not OK – last night they went after my delegate after she tweeted that what happened was appalling. I didn’t screenshot it and they have since deleted the reply. I know it was done in the heat of emotion and pain, but she’s not even on the subcommittee that killed the biggest reform bill.
Let’s get the state AG on it. Let’s keep getting better laws on the books.
Thing is, we *did* get some law enforcement reform done this session. Was it enough? Obviously not, but we’re finally moving the right direction here in Virginia, and we can’t slow down. (I don’t see defunding happening here anytime soon. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.)
We banned the use of facial recognition technology by police (cosponsored by my delegate)
We’ve sharply curtailed ICE/LE access to DMV records (introduced by my delegate)
More funding for body cameras I know that body cameras are not a cure-all, but it’s another needed form of witness.
Then there is HB 2045, which was tabled – it provided for civil actions against law enforcement when they deprive folks of their civil rights. (I think this was the House bill to end qualified immunity.) Didn’t even make it out of subcommittee – and my delegate isn’t even *on* that committee. This is the bill the Virginia Black Legislative Caucus is pointing to right now as very needed.
Also, a bill on releasing disciplinary records didn’t make it out of committee.
Now, I can’t find solid explanations as to why these two were tabled – could have been poorly written, needed more research to avoid unintended consequences, I just don’t know. Given that the D’s control the legislature, they should have passed when they hit the full floor, so – I can only think something wasn’t right with them. (The Senate attempt to end qualified immunity didn’t make it either.)
I know it doesn’t do us any good to just slam bills through only to have them turned over in the courts. So, let’s re-write them, make them better, and bring them around next session. Hell, let’s call a special session and do it NOW. I even sent a message to the Governor asking him to call everyone back.
Waiting and hoping the police become less racist isn’t going to work and it’s just going to cost more lives.