Wave of State Policing Reforms Crested Early, and Fell Short

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In the weeks since police-brutality protests erupted nationwide, most states have not acted on scores of legislative proposals and 30 legislatures have already adjourned until next year, Politico reports. Just five governors have signed any of the new reforms into law, and activists say those measures – in New York, Utah, Colorado, Iowa and Oregon – don’t go nearly far enough.

With federal legislation on policing stalled on Capitol Hill, the onus is on states and cities to pass laws to reform policing. Eighteen of the states whose legislatures are still in session are considering dozens of bills, according to a National Conference of State Legislatures database, but all but a handful are stuck in committee. In Minnesota, where the protests began, legislators introduced dozens of police-related bills last month, but thanks to partisan bickering, not one passed before lawmakers adjourned their legislative session. Activists have turned their attention to city lawmakers, flooding city council meetings with calls to defund police departments, which has resulted in votes to cut police budgets in New York, Los Angeles and elsewhere.

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