ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — Georgia House Democrats recently introduced bills they say promote a fair justice system. State Representatives Dar’shun Kendrick (Dist. 93) and William Boddie (Dist. 62) detailed proposed legislation involving efforts to compensate families of police brutality victims and targeting use of force policies.
“Our government must always strive towards a more fair and just society for all,” said Kendrick. “HB69 Would remove qualified immunity from bad acting law enforcement officers and allow them to be sued in court for civil damages.”READ MORE: Atlanta-Area Labor Union, Lawmakers Rally On National Day Of Action On Unemployment
Local attorneys have long demanded monetary damages for the families of Rayshard Brooks, Jimmy Atchison and others. They have said inadequate liability insurance on law enforcement officers is part of the problem.
“HB69 will have a substitute in the coming days that will add a requirement that counties and cities maintain a certain amount of liability insurance under officers,” Kendrick said.READ MORE: DOH-Pinellas Partners With Not My Son To Provide COVID-19 Vaccinations and Food Vouchers
Boddie referenced George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless other cases prompting calls for new legislation. “We can no longer have a justice system that only works for some and fails to protect others,” he said. “Your race nor your economic position in society should deem whether you live or die when encountering law enforcement in Georgia.”
House Bills 145 and 175 deal with use of force policies, which include repealing Georgia’s Stand Your Ground law, banning no-knock warrants and private prisons, as well as banning officers from using chokeholds and neck restraints. HB 140 will allow newly appointed district attorneys to receive a change in venue in some cases, transferring them to other counties for an impartial jury. “As in the Ahmaud Arbery case, where the DA knowingly tainted the jury,” said Boddie.MORE NEWS: Pasco County Drug Dealer Sentenced to Life Imprisonment
House Democrats expect to have virtual town halls on several bills in the coming weeks.