Find Bill
Find Your Legislator
Legislative Deadlines
May 17, 2022
RSS Feed Permanent URL -A +A

Minutes for HB2667 - Committee on Judiciary

Short Title

Requiring law enforcement agencies to adopt policies requiring an investigation and public report be completed after officer-involved deaths.

Minutes Content for Tue, Feb 18, 2020

Natalie Scott provided an overview of the HB2667(Attachment 19) Ms. Scott stood for questions.

Representative Chris Croft testified in support of the bill.(Attachment 20) Representative Croft has been personally involved in every aspect of this process in his Army career. He indicated it is what shaped the structure of HB2667. The bill contains a process for investigating an officer involved death, a report to the Count or District Attorney, an update of the status of investigation, a determination, and a summary report to the next of kin (if desired).

Representative John Resman testified in support of the bill. (Attachment 21) Representative Resman stated the bill would require law enforcement agencies to adopt written policies regarding officer-involved deaths, that they be investigated by an outside agency, ensure the scene is protected, and forward the investigative report to the count/district attorney. It also provides for a coordinated release of information.

Chairperson Patton allowed Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau to testify without any submitted testimony.

The membership was allowed to ask questions of the conferees testifying in support of the bill.

Neutral

Amanda Stanley provided neutral testimony for the bill. (Attachment 22) Ms. Stanley stated the League of Kansas Municipalities recommend the committee consider sending HB2667 to the Judicial Council with HB2424 to study how a similar approach has worked in Colorado, how both pieces of proposed legislation will interact with the current law, and how these two bills would interact with HB2079, which contains the Judicial Council's recommendation on modifications to criminal investigation record treatment under KORA but which has not had a hearing.

Kirk Thompson provided neutral testimony for the bill. (Attachment 23) Mr. Thompson went over statistical information collected by the KBI. He also explained the KBI has significant experience and expertise in the field and have well developed procedure for conducting investigation into these critical incidents. Some of their current practices reflect requests in the bill.

The membership had the opportunity to address questions to the neutral conferees.

Chairperson Patton directed the membership to review the written neutral testimony in their bill folders.

Neutral Written

Opponent

Representative David Benson provided opponent testimony for the bill. (Attachment 25) Representative Benson explained there are many positive aspects of this bill but the section about informing next of kin is not strong enough.

Chief Darrell Atteberry provided opponent testimony substituting for Chief Douglas Schroeder who was not able to attend. (Attachment 26) He explained HB2667 is an improvement over HB2424 but neglects to address concerns about releasing information to next of kin who could possibly be a suspect in the crime or a related crime. Releasing investigative reports would be reckless especially in the case of gang violence or a terrorist/extremist group officer-involved death.

Sheriff Jeff Easter provided opponent testimony for the bill. (Attachment 27) Mr Easter spoke to the concern that this bill is being written due to the lack of trust of law enforcement and the charging authority in these cases. The U.S. and Kansas Constitution allow for civil remedies. All too often this is the route that is taken when the LEO was justified in his/her action. For the Kansas Sheriff's Association to support this bill it most work for both law enforcement and the charging authority.

Chief John Defore provided opponent testimony for the bill. (Attachment 28) Mr. Defore explained the members of the Kansas Peace Officers' Association want to ensure not only fair and impartial investigation conducted, but rights of law enforcement offices as well as potential witnesses are protected.

Mark Schmid provided opponent testimony for the bill. (Attachment 29) Mr, Schmid and his organization believe that the provisions in the bill do little to change the status quo and it's ineffective in providing the transparency that is required in officer-involved death cases. It does very little to foster trust in the investigative process and prosecutor's function.

Kim T. Parker provided opponent testimony for the bill. (Attachment 30) Ms. Parker on behalf of the Kansas County and District Attorneys Association requested the membership allow the KCDA organization to work with law enforcement in the state to develop Best Practice policies around the intent of this legislation.

Sheila Albers provided opponent testimony for the bill. (Attachment 31) Ms. Albers, whose son was killed in a police shooting, wants more transparency with and after the investigation and this bill does not satisfy her and her families wishes to provide a solution to the lack of information available to the public or next of kin.

Chairperson Patton directed the membership to review the written opponent testimony in their bill folders.

Opponent Written

Chairperson Patton closed the hearing.