State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle is gratified to see that the Police Reform Bill, HB 7051, passed unanimously out of the Florida Senate, after having previously passed unanimously out of the Florida House of Representatives. This bipartisan police reform bill, which incorporates many of the suggestions originally put forward by the State Attorney’s Continuing Justice Reform Commission and had the support of the Miami-Dade County Police Chiefs’ Association, the Florida Sheriffs Association and the Legislative Black Caucus. This legislation now goes to the Governor for his signature.
This legislation requires that the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission establish standards for the instruction of officers on use of force and adopt policies relating to it, including:
• proportional use of force;
• alternatives to force;
• the use of chokeholds (which would be limited to situations involving the immediate threat of serious bodily injury or death);
• a duty to intervene if another officer uses excessive force;
• a duty to render medical aid if a person needs medical attention;
• recognition of, and appropriate responses to, substance use disorders and mental illnesses;
• mandated independent reviews for use-of-force incidents involving deaths
• disclosure of prior investigations into criminal, civil, or administrative wrongdoing prior to employment with a criminal justice agency.
• “While this legislation did not go as far as I and others would have liked, I am pleased so many joined our call for action,” said State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. “If the difficult journey of a thousand miles begins with the very first single step, then this essential first step is a step of hope and progress for all the people of Florida.”