IN FOCUS Discussion: Utah’s 2021 Police Reform Bills

In Focus

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – After a summer of civil unrest that peaked after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Utah’s lawmakers introduced dozens of police reform bills during the state’s 2021 legislative session.

Lobbyists, analysts, experts, and advocates said they don’t expect sweeping changes coming to this session with Utah’s bills. But some aim to address the urgent issues brought forth by the community, after a number of highly-publicized police incidents this past year, both nationally and locally.

Molly Davis, Policy Analyst with Libertas Institute joined ABC4’s Rosie Nguyen on the CW30 News at 7 p.m. to recap some of these bills and talk about how they’re doing on Utah’s Capitol Hill. She talked about some bills that are moving through the session with bi-partisan support.

One of those bills is H.B. 59, which “prevents officers from downloading private images to a shared device and sharing them with anyone not involved in the investigation.” This bill was inspired by the Lauren McCluskey investigation case. She also addressed bills that are facing more difficulties such as H.B. 245, which would add more restrictions to “no-knock warrants,” inspired by the Breonna Taylor and Matthew David Stewart cases.

Lex Scott, Organizer of Black Lives Matter Utah and Ian Adams, Executive Director for the Utah Fraternal Order of Police joined the discussion as a panel to share their reactions to some bills that included:

  • H.B. 264, sponsored by Rep. Angela Romero: Law Enforcement Weapons Use
  • H.B. 367, sponsored by Rep. Bring King: Qualified Immunity
  • H.B. 62, sponsored by Rep. Andrew Stoddard: Post Certification
  • H.B. 245, sponsored by Rep. Craig Hall: Forcible Entry and Warrants
  • H.B. 74, sponsored by Rep. Mark Wheatley: Municipal Police Oversight
  • H.B. 162, sponsored by Rep. Angela Romero: Peace Officer Training

To watch the full IN FOCUS discussion with Davis, Scott, and Adams, click on the video at the top of the article.

Catch IN FOCUS discussions with ABC4’s Rosie Nguyen weeknights on the CW30 News at 7 p.m.

Rosie_Nguyen
Rosie Nguyen is an award-winning journalist who joined the ABC4 News team as a reporter in January 2018. In September 2020, she embarked on a new journey as the anchor for the CW30 News at 7 p.m. Although she’s not out in the field anymore, she is continuing her passion for social justice and community issues through the nightly “In Focus” discussions.

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