While many states across the country have introduced some police reform measures following the death of George Floyd and the national protests that followed, other states have not followed the pack.
Here is a general rundown of reforms or opposing measures passed by states according to an article published by the AP.
Some of the biggest reforms took place in states like Maryland, Washington, and California.
Maryland repealed its longstanding Law Enforcement Bill of Rights, while Washington introduced new use-of-force policies and installed a civilian review board, and California made it law that a police officer fired in one jurisdiction could not get employed in another.
On the other hand, a handful of Republican states countered these changes by granting police greater authority, especially when it comes to cracking down on protestors.
This partisan division came to a head with congress’ George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which passed the House last year without any Republican vote but failed in the Senate. The act aimed to increase police officer accountability.
Jim Pasco, executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police, which represents more than 356,000 law enforcement officers, was disappointed with the outcome of the bill.
“Sadly, the only thing we know for sure, it will be a tragedy that will precipitate change,” Pasco said.
Puneet Cheema, manager of the Justice in Public Safety Project at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said many of the state reform bills passed last year represent a victory for reformers. She believes the laws, which regulate police use-of-force and increase transparency and accountability of officers, will shift the tide in officer behavior if they are enforced properly.
“That is a longer-term shift that will lead to the broadest changes in police violence and the role that police play in people’s lives,” Cheema said.
Reformers are pleased with the results in many divided states like Kentucky, North Carolina and Louisiana as well. For instance, Kentucky was able to pass a bill partially banning no-knock warrants following the death of Brianna Taylor.
In North Carolina, Democrat Governor Roy Cooper signed a bill to create a police database that allows citizens to see whether an officer’s certification has been revoked or suspended. It also allows civilians to see confidential information regarding officers involved in fatal incidents.
Meanwhile, Louisiana passed laws placing restrictions on no-knock warrants and chokeholds, and updated requirements for the use of body camera and dash cameras. Other reform measures passed in the state aim to increase minority recruiting efforts by law enforcement agencies.
On the other end of the spectrum, Republican-led states like Iowa, Oklahoma, Florida and Ohio pushed back on the anti-police reforms by passing their own law enforcement-strengthening measures.
Iowan lawmakers passed the Back the Blue Act in June, which increases civil legal protections for officers accused of misconduct and makes rioting a felony.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt also passed an anti-rioting bill, increasing penalties for protestors who block roadways and granting immunities to drivers to accidentally hit protestors in the road.
Ohio and Florida passed similar anti-riot laws, increasing the penalties against rioters and giving law enforcement more leverage in dealing with violent protestors.