Cops in Louisville, Kentucky may soon be required to submit to a drug test if they become violent during a “critical incident.” In a first of its kind proposal in the department, the Louisville Metro Council is pushing through an ordinance that will require police officers to submit to a drug and alcohol test after they shoot or hurt someone.
Council President David James, D-6th District, who is co-sponsoring the legislation, along with Councilwoman Barbara Sexton Smith, D-4th point out how drugs and alcohol can severely alter a person’s perspective, which is why they want the citizens of Louisville to know if the officer was on drugs or alcohol at the time they commit violence.
State lawmakers are looking at codifying best practices for police dog teams after a Salt Lake City audit uncovered a pattern of abuse in the way its law enforcement agency has been using canines to catch suspects.
A legislative committee voted unanimously Tuesday to explore a bill on the issue, although one state senator made clear he has little patience for complaints about police dogs.
“I don’t have a lot of sympathy,” Sen. Don Ipson told his colleagues on the law enforcement and criminal justice committee. “We don’t want to harm the public. But if they don’t want to get bit, stay home.”
A 14-year-old boy with autism was left traumatized and physically injured last month after one of Topeka’s finest felt it necessary to throw him to the ground, handcuff him and then kneel on his neck in the same move that proved fatal for George Floyd — a fully grown man. The boy’s mother is now speaking out and seeking justice for her child.
According to police, they were responding to a call about the boy bringing his dog on a walk without a leash. There had been no incident — meaning the dog never once harmed anyone — but fear of an unleashed dog led to a police response.
“At around 4:26 p.m. the officer located the 14-year-old in the neighborhood a third time and conducted a pedestrian stop,” the police Facebook post said. “He did not comply with the officer’s commands. A use of force was generated when he was taken to the ground and handcuffed.”
The officer informed the boy that he was in violation of city law the first time and told him to take the “goddamn dog home” the second time, according to body-camera footage detailed in the audit report, and reported on by VICE.
The boy — who was likely scared to death when the armed man began yelling at him — did not immediately comply and decided to keep riding his bicycle home. When the officer finally caught up to the boy, violent force was used against him and his dog.
The horrifying video of George Floyd’s death, and the protests that followed, led to a rare occurrence: The police officers responsible are being prosecuted. Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been charged with murder and remains in jail, and three other officers are facing lesser charges.
Kentucky’s recent decision not to bring homicide charges against the officers who killed Breonna Taylor is much more typical. Most instances of law enforcement brutality do not result in criminal charges, even when they are captured on video. They often result in no consequences at all. This includes many cases of excessive force in response to the protests after Floyd’s death, but the problem is long standing, and not restricted to local police.
Border Patrol agent Jesus Mesa Jr. was not prosecuted or disciplined for shooting and killing a 15-year-old boy, and the Supreme Court ruled last year that the boy’s parents could not sue.
Most of the individuals responsible for the CIA torture program faced no consequences—in fact, one of the CIA employees who oversaw torture and evidence destruction now leads the agency.
And the list goes on.