Colorado’s sweeping police accountability bill now requires officers to face imminent threat before using deadly force

Another amendment added to Senate Bill 217 on Monday prohibits officers from using tear gas on protesters without warning. The measure now has bipartisan support.

Denver police ahead of protesters in Denver's Capitol Hill neighborhood on Saturday, June 6, 2020.
Denver police ahead of protesters in Denver's Capitol Hill neighborhood on Saturday, June 6, 2020. (Photo Credit: Jesse Paul, The Colorado Sun)

Colorado Democrats’ sweeping police accountability bill won preliminary approval Monday in the state Senate after undergoing a number of changes, including the addition of a prohibition on the use of deadly force by officers unless they face an imminent threat.

Currently, officers may use deadly force if they reasonably fear for their lives or the lives of their colleagues — called the reasonable officer standard — and not necessarily if they are facing an imminent threat.

The imminent threat amendment brought by state Sen. Mike Foote, a Lafayette Democrat, aims to give officers’ subjective viewpoint less weight in the determination around whether deadly force was legally used. Instead, investigators will determine whether there was an imminent threat in what Foote hopes will be more objective.

Read more of the story at The Colorado Sun. The Colorado Sun is a reader-supported news organization dedicated to covering the people, places and policies of Colorado. Learn more at coloradosun.com.

1 COMMENT

  1. imminent threat was the standard that law enforcement has been held to in the US and abroad for most of the last century. Anyone who is claiming to be confused about this really is not. Prosecute all police conspiracies to deprive rights and commit violent crimes retroactive to the Carter Administration.

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