Democratic lawmakers sponsor bills to increase police transparency, accountability

A new bill would force more transparency among Arizona police. (Photo by Ben Margiott/Cronkite News)

Two Democratic state lawmakers have teamed up to address the growing concerns over police accountability and transparency in the wake of controversial officer-involved shootings.

House Representatives Reginald Bolding (D-27) and Ken Clark (D-24) announced house bills 2649 and 2650 Monday morning.

Rep. Bolding sponsored HB 2649, which would create a statewide database to track the disciplinary actions of law enforcement officers across all state agencies. He hopes this would prevent “bad-apple” officers from easily jumping between agencies without an extensive background check of their career.

HB 2650, sponsored by Rep. Clark, would require that investigations into deadly officer-involved shootings be performed by an independent agency, not the agency that was involved.

“You’ve got people in the community who feel, ‘We see all these police-involved shootings and the outcome always seems to be the same,'” Rep. Clark said. “They don’t feel like the process itself is trustworthy. We feel like this is a very simple fix.”

Both bills were so recently introduced that they have not been assigned to a committee.