California elected officials have rejected several proposed measures that would address the distrust between communities and police. From body cameras to independent investigations of police shootings, legislators and Attorney General Kamala Harris backed away from common-sense reform. Last Sunday’s editorial, “A lost opportunity on police reform” (June 7) urged lawmakers to do the job they were hired to do by the public and not fear the “thin-blue-line blowback.”
The Conversation asked readers: Why do you think lawmakers are timid about reforming law enforcement policies for better accountability?
Shirley Taylor Ryan – I am so sick of people trying to undermine what the public wants – accountability. As long as the police tell the truth, then there is no problem. What are they afraid of?
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Cole Smith-Crowley – I could see how having a chance to review and remind oneself of the events could actually have a non-sinister reason, in that if the event was no big deal to the cop, or something more mentally important that they overrode that memory (memory and eyewitness accounts being pretty terribly inaccurate), then it's likely that critical details would be omitted, forgotten or mixed up with other incidents.
Tonya Alston – They fear losing campaign donations/support and being labeled as anti-police/safety. Unfortunate.
Terry Friedman – Police just like anyone see things and remember things in a unique overly or under focused manner. Why shouldn't the camera be used to write an accurate report. We know eyewitness reports are poor at best. Cameras should be used to help, not hinder the process.