Police Reform Legislation To Be Introduced In City Council

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Photo credit Andrew Limberg/ KDKA Radio

PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - On the same day George Floyd is buried in Houston, bill are being introduced in Pittsburgh City Council to reform how police do their work.

Legislation sponsored by Councilman Ricky Burgess would impose a police hiring freeze and end the purchase of surplus military equipment, require officers to intervene with an officer using illegal or unnecessary force and create a “stop the violence” fund equal to ten percent of the police budget.

“It’s been what now, maybe two or three on decades on policing, prosecution and incarceration and results have been predictable,” said Burgess.

City Council will debate the legislation next week.

The legislation would: 


Establishing a Hiring Freeze in the Bureau of Police: This legislation will defund the Police Recruit and First-Year Police Officer line items in the Bureau’s 2020 Budget.

Requiring the Demilitarization of the Police: This legislation bans the purchase of surplus U.S. military equipment and weapons by the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police.

Establishing a Duty to Intervene: This legislation requires ALL police officers to step in and stop other police officers from using illegal or unnecessary force or any other violation of a person’s constitutional right.  It also requires those officers to immediately report the incident to whoever in the chain of command it is necessary to report.

Establishing STOP THE VIOLENCE Fund: This legislation requires the city to dedicate dollars, equal to 10% of the Police Budget, annually for funding evidence based violence prevention social service programs. 

“During these times, it is critically important that we not only acknowledge the voices of those marching in the streets but also provide a legislative platform for them to directly engage in the governance and policing of our city," Councilman Lavelle noted upon introduction of these measures. "The idea that more policing can solve a broad range of community problems is misguided. What our communities need, particularly communities of color, is more direct investment in things like: affordable housing, better education, counseling for trauma and addiction, youth development, workforce development, and public transit.”

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