CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Nevada took its first steps toward joining the growing number of state Legislatures throughout the United States that have revisited laws governing police conduct in light of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, who died after an officer pressed a knee to his neck.

The state Senate and Assembly passed bills Saturday that, if signed into law, will ban the use of chokeholds and roll back protections afforded to officers during misconduct investigations in an effort to foster accountability.

After thousands of demonstrators flooded the streets of Las Vegas, Reno and other Nevada cities in late May and early June, Gov. Steve Sisolak and legislative leaders vowed to address protesters’ demands for reform.

Reform advocates, in particular, have demanded the repeal of a 2019 bill that strengthened protections for officers facing misconduct allegations, complicating statehouse Democrats’ efforts to position themselves alongside reform advocates and protesters.

The bill passed with near-unanimous support, with Democrats lining up behind its author, Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro, D-Las Vegas, despite opposition from criminal justice reform advocates.

Based on concerns raised since its passage, Cannizzaro said there was a clear need to revisit provisions both for the sake of officers and the communities they serve.

A bill she introduced Saturday to roll back certain provisions of the bill passed through its first committee hearing in the state Senate on a party-line vote, over objections from Republicans and police officer advocates who argued it would deny officers needed protections.

Progressive advocates also voiced opposition to the bill during public comment, arguing anything short of a complete repeal was insufficient action and concluding their remarks by saying “Black Lives Matter.”

Gary Peck, the former leader of the ACLU of Nevada, called the 2019 law “an utter abomination, embarrassment and just bad policy” and said Cannizzaro’s claim that its intent was to ensure labor protections didn’t make sense given the unrivaled protections already afforded to officers.

The proposal would remove limits on the use of officer testimony in civil cases, strip officers of the right to review evidence against them before testifying in departmental misconduct investigations and give victims more time to file complaints with police agencies.

If the bill passes through further Senate hearings, it will move to the Assembly and then to the Governor’s desk to be signed.

The state Assembly passed a separate bill Saturday that, if signed into law, will limit the use of chokeholds and other deadly force. It would also enshrine into law a “duty to intervene” for officers who observe unjustified uses of force and allow “only the amount of reasonable force necessary” during arrests.

The bill won bipartisan support in both chambers and will be considered on the Senate floor in the coming days.

Unlike the misconduct investigation bill, Assembly Bill 3 struck enough of a balance to win support from groups ranging from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department to the ACLU of Nevada.

The bill arrives weeks after departments in Reno and Las Vegas enacted new policies to limit the use of neck restraints. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department does not consider carotid restraints to be chokeholds, but limited their use to life-threatening situations in July.

Nevada considers carotid restraints to be chokeholds.

Retired Reno police detective Ron Dreher, speaking on behalf of the Nevada Public Safety Officers Alliance, called the bill was “anti-police and pro-criminal,” and would strip officers of tactics needed to protect and serve.

“Please do not paint the professional police officers of Nevada with the same brush as what occurred in Minneapolis,” he said.

At least a dozen state legislatures have banned chokeholds or passed other police reforms this summer, including ConnecticutColoradoMinnesota, and New York.

___

Sam Metz is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

Recommended for you

(14) comments

Mediumjeep

Listen to police! Really dumb kolored,cause the situations & deserve to be choked for not listening!

sisolakisascumbag

Corrupt Traitor Sisolak should be indicted for murder of Covid patients in Nevada. He BANNED THE CURE AND KILLED PEOPLE

qwerty123

Still not a cure for the virus, no matter how much we want it to be. He might have actually saves lives by saving those drugs for the people with lupus who actually need it.

Nevermore

So even if that drug combination could have saved someone's life it's better to deny them treatment, because other people might need it worse. Great logic.

stotz

It appears our libslob legislature now works for blm.

sisolakisascumbag

corrupt a f

qwerty123

The BLM is a federal agency, but they do manage most of the land in the state.

MicheleR58

So, now, a policeman/woman can no longer do their job. What's the point then? Oh, I get it now! To make life easier for those whom commit the crimes and or whom want to commit the crimes and get away with it. That's it, I get it now! Life is easier now for BLACKS. Next, what will Sisolak do? Oh, that's right, FORCE us in Nevada to pay for BLACK REPARATIONS! Here's a thought: GET A JOB! Make an effort. Its really that simple! But, noooo... .BLACKS want to play the blame game and say they're oppressed! They have Democrats reminding them daily that they will never get ahead, because of White Supremacy. Well, there is no such thing as White Supremacy. And did you even know that Whites were slaves too? Bet that wasn't taught in history class! Oh, and that President Lincoln FREED and SAVED BLACKS, yet, was MURDERED for it. Hmm....

Mediumjeep

A former aclu person ? This a communist front group of unamerican trash,funded with the blm ! Let the police do what ever needs to be done to arrest criminals! The Floyd story that’s not really mentioned,he was a ex convicted felon,he was trying to push forged money into businesses! That’s against the law ,that loser deserved what happened! The fake news probably won’t interview any of the people,who he ripped of with his fake money scam !

sisolakisascumbag

THAT TH UG DIED OF FENTANYL

Nevermore

Obviously, becoming a police officer now is not a good career choice.

qwerty123

Being a police officer is about honor, justice, and service to the community.

Nevermore

Nothing like honor, justice, and community service to cities that want to defund the police. Can we say Portland,Seattle,Minneapolis. Maybe not here since so far we are still considered a tourist destination. But it seems the criminals have more rights than the victims. When we lose the rule of law we will have lost the country.

qwerty123

The police are given an impossible task, they should not be dealing with mental illness, druggies, or homeless, lets take that off their plate so they focus on serving and protecting Americans from the real villains that prey on law abiding citizens. Move some funding to a new separate program so we don't have to wait for someone to break the law before we address mental health issues.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.