Letter of Support for the Enhance Law Enforcement Integrity Bill

Javier Alberto Soto

To the Colorado General Assembly:

On behalf of The Denver Foundation, I am writing today to express support for SB20-217 Enhance Law Enforcement Integrity, a bill that will increase transparency, accountability, and public oversight of law enforcement agencies. This bill is a first step toward meaningful reform of Colorado’s approach to public safety and law enforcement.

The Denver Foundation is adding its voice to the public outcry that has brought hundreds of thousands of people to the streets to protest the killing of George Floyd, and the systemic racism deep-rooted in criminal justice systems across the United States, including Colorado. New voices are speaking out, and more people need to be heard. We are at a historic inflection point in civil opposition to government-sanctioned violence against Black men in America. We must seize this moment to enact law enforcement reform such as SB20-217.

A just system of law and order must be rooted in transparency, accountability, and public oversight.

A just system of law and order must be rooted in transparency, accountability, and public oversight. We hear and understand concerns about privacy and potential unintended consequences of eliminating the doctrine of qualified immunity in the criminal justice system. Yet it is time to focus on the known consequences of our current system: Black men experience inequitable and disproportionate profiling, policing, enforcement, and incarceration. Tragically, the entire world can clearly see the routine brutality and lethal violence inflicted upon Black men. We must finally respond to the call to dismantle racism within law enforcement. 

Beyond this bill, The Denver Foundation firmly advocates for a transformational reimaging of how a just society invests in public safety. Rather than prioritizing policing and incarceration, we must reinvest in community services led by those most impacted by harmful practices, both historic and current. We must work together toward the restoration and resilience of communities of color.

The Denver Foundation believes that SB20-217 is a significant first step to reforming law enforcement integrity in Colorado and supports swift passage.

 

Sincerely,

Javier Alberto Soto

President and CEO

The Denver Foundation

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