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Delaware Senate Democrats

ADVISORY: Sens. Lockman, Pinkney to hold press availability on proposed LEOBOR and use-of-force reforms

May 24, 2021

WHAT: Senate Majority Whip Elizabeth “Tizzy” Lockman and Sen. Marie Pinkney will answer questions about legislation slated for introduction Tuesday that seek to remove many of the barriers that can shield Delaware police officers from being held accountable when they violate the public’s trust.

One bill would amend sections of the Delaware Law-Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights by making records of police misconduct publicly accessible for the first time in 25 years. The legislation also would allow any state agency, county or municipality that operates a law enforcement agency to empower a community review board to hear and decide law-enforcement disciplinary matters.

A second bill would update the existing use-of-force standard for police officers in Delaware. Delaware is currently one of only three states that permits police officers to use deadly force whenever they believe it to be justified regardless of whether such a belief is reasonable – a vague and subjective standard that is both difficult to understand and impractical to enforce.

A third bill would expand the power of the Delaware Department of Justice’s Division of Civil Rights and Public Trust to review police use-of-force incidents that result in serious physical injury in addition to the office’s existing mandate to review all deadly-force incidents. The legislation also would require the Division to report the race of individuals involved in use-of-force cases and specify whether race played a factor in how force was applied.

WHEN: 9 a.m., Tuesday, May 25

WHERE: Click here to register in advance for the virtual press conference. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about how to join the event.

WHO: Sen. Elizabeth “Tizzy” Lockman
Sen. Marie Pinkney
Attorney General Kathy Jennings
Assistant Public Defender Misty Seemans