Three California police unions have devised reforms aimed at filtering officers guilty of misconduct from the police force and are calling on leaders at the federal level to implement the measures amid national protests against police brutality and racism.
The Los Angeles Police Protective League, San Jose Police Officers Association, and the San Francisco Police Officers Association unveiled a reform agenda that focuses on filtering officers fired for misconduct out of the police force and developing a national use-of-force standard, according to a press release from the three unions.
“Police officers come from and reflect our communities. Unfortunately, there is racism in our communities and that means across our country that there are some racist police officers. Police unions must root out racism wherever it rears its ugly head and root out any racist individual from our profession,” the statement reads.
The reform plan calls for a national database of former police officers fired for gross misconduct to alert other agencies from hiring them; a national use-of-force standard that emphasizes declaration and a duty to intervene if an officer witnesses excessive force; and an early warning system to identify officers that may need additional training and mentoring.
The initiative follows the increased scrutiny police departments have faced following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and most recently Rayshard Brooks, who was killed by Atlanta police after resisting arrest.
In Minneapolis, where Floyd died after a police officer knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes, the police union has also been criticized for hindering efforts to reform the department.
The joint plan from the three California police unions is calling for federal legislation that would implement or require the reforms included in the agenda, a representative told the Daily Caller.
“All of the aspects of our plan have been established or are rooted in practices/policies/procedures successfully in use at LAPD, SFPD or SJPD,” the representative said.
The national database that would list the officers fired for gross misconduct would be created by a federal agency, and if federal legislation is passed with the proposed reforms, various law enforcement agencies would be able to decide how to implement them.
The reform plan also includes a publicly accessible use-of-force analysis website so that the public can monitor when and how force is used, the statement says. (RELATED: How Police Unions Protect Officers Accused Of Misconduct From Accountability)
The collective bargaining power of police unions makes it difficult for police departments to punish officers for misconduct, and often leads to little community transparency.
Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo highlighted the power of police unions when his department withdrew from union contract negotiations June 10, saying, “There is nothing more debilitating to achieve from an employment matter perspective than when you have grounds to terminate an officer for misconduct and you’re dealing with a third-party mechanism that allows for that employee to not only be back on your department, but to be patrolling in your communities.”