The New Jersey Senate is scheduled to vote on Thursday, October 20th, on S2469, the legislation to require independent prosecutors when there is a killing by police or a death in police custody. We have just the next 24 hours to make our voices heard…. please TAKE ACTION and write to your State Senator urging them to VOTE YES on this important legislation.
Reforms such as the one proposed by S2469 are important steps toward enhancing police accountability and will reduce actual and perceived conflicts of interest when a death occurs at the hands of law enforcement officers.
Such reforms would have the effect of bolstering the legitimacy of law enforcement, fostering more trusting relationships between police officers and community members, and helping prevent excessive use of force.
By removing the perception that local prosecutors are reluctant to investigate the police departments they work with, S2469 allows officers who commit criminal acts to be held accountable and removes an important barrier to fostering trust between officers and residents.
Laurice Grae-Hauck is the Outreach Coordinator of the Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of NJ.