Colorado Police Reform Bill Vote Expected Friday

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Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Denver protesters enraged by the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer clashed with police in downtown Denver Thursday night, May 28, 2020

State lawmakers continued debate Wednesday on a police accountability bill that strengthens rules around use of force and transparency around cops who get in trouble.

The bill cleared the state Senate earlier this week and now lawmakers in the state House are weighing amendments that will strengthen police officer training requirements and shifts to how much an officer will be on the hook for lawsuits individually. 

“This is not a new issue,” said Rep. Leslie Herod. “It’s time for us to act, with the protesters outside these very doors demanding accountability,” she said, adding that it was “beautiful” that state Senate Democrats and Republicans alike had voted for the bill.

Herod opened the hearing with a provocative montage of police shooting and excessive force incidents over six years using body-worn cameras and news media clips. The video brought several people in the hearing room to tears.

Lawmakers said there would be several amendments to the Senate’s version, which garnered near unanimous support from Democrats and Republicans. One Republican voted against it.

Vicky Trujillo brought an urn of her late husband’s ashes to the testimony table and openly wept.

“My late husband was unarmed and posed no threat,” she told lawmakers, her husband was shot six times in 2007 by a Denver Police officer. “Jason Gomez. If they don’t know his name now, they do now. Please support this bill.”

A final vote on the bill is expected Friday.