SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) – A bill that prohibits retaliatory action for officers who report police misconduct is being celebrated after its passage this week.

Senate Bill 126 outlines an officer’s “duty to intervene or report officer misconduct” and was sponsored by Sen. Jani Iwamoto and Rep. Ryan Wilcox.

A statement from Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill reads:

   “This bill by Senator Jani Iwamoto is the culmination of almost two years of work and collaboration between the DA Office, Utah chiefs of police, sheriffs, law enforcement supervisors and line officer representatives, and community interest groups including the ACLU of Utah, the NAACP, and the Utah chapter of Black Lives Matter.  The bill represents a potential sea change in the willingness and ability of police officers and employees to intervene and report, without fear of retaliation, whenever they observe co-worker conduct they believe is wrong—whether due to inexperience, mistake, training, or intent.  Importantly, SB126 covers not just acts of excessive force, but also illegal searches and arrests and discriminatory actions by law enforcement.  This legislation will better enable supervisors to discover and react to possible improprieties early on, in order to stop problematic behaviors before those few misbehaving officers can cause injury to our residents and to the reputations of thousands of excellent law enforcement officers across Utah who serve the public with honor and dignity every day.

              “In short, congratulations is due to Senator Iwamoto, to law enforcement, and to all Utahns today with the passage of SB126.  Now on to the Governor.”

Rae Duckworth, operating chairperson of Black Lives Matter Utah, says the bill is a positive change worth celebrating. Accountability and transparency are crucial, she says, and this bill helps facilitate both.

“It’s about time,” said Duckworth.

“It’s what we need right now,” she added.

Duckworth calls it a critical building block, a chance to rebuild trust between police and the public.

“My heart tells me that good people will do the good thing,” said Duckworth.

“This bill supports them,” she added.