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Hearings continue on use-of-force policing bills

A Detroit Police officer uses tear-gas during a protest in the Detroit, on May 29, 2020.
A Detroit Police officer uses tear-gas during a protest in the Detroit, on May 29, 2020.

A bipartisan effort to create standards for law enforcement training and conduct – particular on the use of force – continues Tuesday with the goal of having legislation sent to the Michigan Senate next week.

The bills under discussion include stricter limits on the use of “no-knock” search warrants, creating a duty for officers to report police misconduct, training in recognizing implicit bias, and requiring every law enforcement department to adopt use-of-force policies.

Senator Stephanie Chang of Detroit is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee, which has been meeting twice a week to hold hearings.

“So many of these changes are overdue,” she said, “but at the same time, we also want to make sure that we’re not rushing the process and making sure that we’re getting the details right because they really matter.”

Chang says, done right, the legislation will make policing safer and more responsive for the public and law enforcement officers.

She says the hearings are taking while in order get a wide variety of perspectives, and to make sure the proposals will build confidence that law enforcement reforms will work as intended.