The Missouri Democrat who told MSNBC the riots of Ferguson and the tremors of racial outrage that spread nationwide from the Missouri community were “our race war” unleashed a Twitter tirade Jan. 3 that foreshadowed a stormy legislative session ahead for her white colleagues in the Missouri Legislature....Most of these sound like sensible ideas. "Use of deadly force" laws in Georgia hold the police to the same standard as anyone else -- only to stop an immediate threat of death or grievous bodily harm -- which is a pretty reasonable standard. A special prosecutor standard may well be warranted in cases of unarmed persons being killed by police, at least for a while given the serious degradation in public trust in the system's ability to hold the police to account. The use of third party validators is not a bad idea in such an environment either: the US military used embedded media to great effect in tamping down the worst of the irresponsible accusations of excessive force. (In fairness, the embeds sometimes caught some actual excessive force on camera -- but that can be valuable too, especially in a policing environment where the goal really is to train so that excessive force will not be used.) Visible identification aids public accountability too, especially in an age of easy access to cameras and video recording equipment.
Her legislation also includes what Chappelle-Nadal described as citizen protections and officer professional standards:
• The bill scales back the current “use of deadly force” laws in Missouri, allowing officers to use deadly force only in instances where a suspect poses a clear danger to the officer or the public.
• If a police officer shoots an unarmed citizen, or a police officer kills an unarmed citizen by any other means, a special prosecutor will automatically be appointed.
• When law enforcement is deployed to a protest situation or a scene of civil unrest, all officers will be required to wear accurate and visible identification with their full names clearly displayed.
• Law enforcement officers shall not be allowed to “hog-tie” citizens or verbally degrade or make derogatory comments toward any peaceful protestors.
• If the governor declares a state of emergency due to civil unrest, the governor shall immediately reassign and mobilize a sufficient number of state social workers, counselors, and psychologists to the area.
• The deployment of tear gas shall not be allowed unless the governor has declared a state of emergency and a neutral third-party agency (such as Amnesty International) is on the scene to certify that the tear gas will be deployed in a humanitarian manner.
• If the governor declares a state of emergency due to civil unrest, the governor shall concurrently contract with a neutral third-party agency (such as Amnesty International) to immediately report any abuses of human, civil, and constitutional rights to the Missouri and United States attorney generals.
• All law enforcement agencies in Missouri must be accredited by July 1, 2016.
Not being allowed to "verbally degrade or make derogatory comments" sounds silly to me, though. I assume most departments have standards governing that anyway, so perhaps there's no harm in it, but still.
But 'social workers, counselors, and psychologists'? We'd be well off without them.