Bipartisan police oversight bills introduced at Colorado Legislature

March 17, 2015
Photo: Denver police graduation (AP Photo)
Graduating police cadets listen to a speech by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, during the police recruit graduation ceremony, at Denver Police Training Academy, Friday, Dec. 19 2014. 

The bipartisan bills include the collection of data on fatal police confrontations, and grants for expanded use of body cameras. Rep. Angela Williams, D-Denver, said it’s a response to allegations of excessive force both in Colorado and across the country.

“Public confidence in our police is low," Williams said. "Going into this session I asked my colleagues 'what can we do legislatively to rebuild trust between the police and the community?' ”

Sen. Ellen Roberts, R-Durango, agrees with that goal.

“They want that trust," Robert said. "I think they’ve earned it in many cases but there are some examples where people rightfully are questioning, ‘Hey, what’s going on here?’ So this is our effort to try to address that.”

But Republicans don’t agree with some of the Democratic proposals, like expanding the definition of racial profiling. The bill specifies evidence obtained in profile-motivated traffic and pedestrian stops would be inadmissible in court. 

Melissa Zak of the Colorado Police Chiefs Association says her organization will work with lawmakers to ensure any concerns law enforcement has with the proposals are addressed.