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Senate Passes Police Accountability Resolution

The question is whether we will actually get any accountability with it. The House Joint Resolution 4 was passed by a vote of 13-7-1, with Bruce Ennis not voting and all Republicans voting no. Because even pretending to have transparency and accountability when it comes to police misconduct is too much for those who want a Police State.

HJR 4 directs the Criminal Justice Council to publish integrity reports on the number of complaints made against each law enforcement agency in the state, starting in November 2021. The resolution also would require the CJC to publish and update a searchable list of all police officers who have been decertified in Delaware in the previous 10 years. 

Now, El Som at Delaware Liberal says that this Resolution is purposefully designed to “create the illusion of police accountability and transparency while providing none of either.”

El Som: “[A]ll you get is a list of police agencies with a list of the number of complaints lodged against them.  No names of police officers, no compilation of how many complaints per agency were deemed to have merit.  In other words, nothing. All we get is a list of former police officers who have been ‘decertified’.  Meaning, they are no longer on any police force.  Even for the Kop Kabal, this is cynical beyond their normal standards of covering up everything police-related.” 

This is a legitimate complaint. We will find out the number of complaints, but not the names of the officers complaints are made against if they are still on the force.

HJR 4 Sponsors Yes VotesNo Votes
Schwartzkopf, Cooke, LonghurstHouse Passed 40-0-1. Baumbach Bennett Bentz Bolden Bush Carson Chukwuocha Cooke Dorsey-Walker Griffith Heffernan K.Johnson K.Williams Kowalko Lambert Longhurst Lynn Matthews Minor-Brown Mitchell Morrison Osienski S.Moore Schwartzkopf Wilson-Anton  Briggs King Collins D.Short Dukes Gray Hensley M.Smith Morris Postles Ramone Shupe Smyk Spiegelman Vanderwende YearickBrady (Absent)
Sokola, ParadeeSenate Passed 13-7-1. Brown Gay Hansen Lockman Mantzavinos Paradee Pinkney Poore S.McBride Sokola Sturgeon Townsend Walsh Ennis, Bonini Hocker Lawson Lopez Pettyjohn Richardson Wilson
Current StatusSent to Governor

“We’ve been working hard this year to raise the level of transparency and accountability for police in Delaware through legislation that sets a higher standard for use of force and makes police misconduct records publicly accessible,” said Sen. Sokola. “This resolution will help restore trust in law enforcement by drawing a clear line between the dedicated men and women who faithfully protect our neighbors and those who have violated the public’s trust.” 

“Publishing reports of complaints by agency and a list of decertified officers will for the first time make this information more easily accessible to the public and provide more data for residents to know more about the police agencies that serve their communities,” said Rep. Schwartzkopf. “There is no single silver bullet to addressing police reform; we must take a series of steps forward toward improving transparency and accountability. This measure is another piece of a larger puzzle of reforming our criminal justice system to improve policing and ensure the system works the way it is intended.” 

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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