Eliminate special protections accorded to law enforcement officers involved in critical incidents. Law Enforcement Officer Bill of Rights (LEOBR) statutes make internal discipline nearly impossible and can severely undermine accountability through civil legal and community oversight mechanisms.
- Rhode Island
State level partners:
We’re interested in supporting statutes that repeal the LEOBR laws currently in effect in twenty-two (22) states, and in supporting organizing efforts against LEOBR enactment or expansion in any other states.
Interested in advancing police accountability legislation where you live?
Contact Lauren at email@example.com.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What kind of protections are included in LEOBR laws?
- Aren’t LEOBR laws necessary to protect officers’ due process rights in light of the investigation tactics and disciplinary measures unique to law enforcement?
- Don’t police need special confidentiality due to greater public scrutiny?
1. What kind of protections are included in LEOBR laws?
LEOBR protections can be grouped into one of four categories:
- restrictions on investigations into misconduct;
- limitations on discipline;
- limitations on transparency and civilian oversight;
- destruction of evidence of misconduct.
Officers in states with LEOBR laws usually benefit from more than one of these restrictions.
2. Aren’t LEOBR laws necessary to protect officers’ due process rights in light of the investigation tactics and disciplinary measures unique to law enforcement?
No. The U.S. Constitution already ensures that police officers cannot be coerced to incriminate themselves in order to avoid employment consequences. Moreover, civilians are subject to the same investigative tactics without these protections while facing a deprivation of their liberty, an interest much greater than an individual’s employment.
3. Don’t police need special confidentiality due to greater public scrutiny?
No. This argument ignores a heightened public interest in police vis-à-vis other government employees. Members of the public are interested in police and correctional officer personnel matters because these public servants are in a singular position to take a person’s life or liberty pursuant to their job duties. The public’s stake in police and corrections officer disciplinary matters should warrant fewer restrictions on public participation, not more.