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Delaware Senate Democrats

Senate Bill 149 (S)

Senate Bill 149 (S)

Nearly two years after the Delaware Legislative Black Caucus announced its Justice For All Agenda in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, Sen. Lockman sponsored legislation to remove systemic barriers that shield police officers from being held accountable when they violate the public’s trust.

Senate Substitute 1 for Senate Bill 149 would have – for the first time in more than 25 years – opened serious and substantiated police misconduct records to public view, while creating a new level of public oversight through two tiers of community review boards, each with the power to examine Delaware’s law enforcement agencies’ handling of officer misconduct cases and make recommendations for improvements.

The product of a half dozen public meetings between legislators, criminal justice advocates and law enforcement officers, SS 1 for SB 149 would have amended sections of the Delaware Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights (LEOBOR) that currently block public disclosure of individual police misconduct cases while adding new sections to enable the creation of local and statewide community review boards capable of verifying that law enforcement agencies are taking appropriate disciplinary action and properly disclosing police misconduct records.

Although the measure was never considered in the Senate, Sen. Lockman’s work in bringing advocates and law enforcement officers together to produce SS 1 for SB 149 helped open the door for passage of more modest reforms in 2023 and created a roadmap for future legislation capable of raising the bar on police accountability.