SALT LAKE CITY — Utah has passed a bill
banning oversight powers for independent civilian boards that review
police departments, local news station KUTV reports.
The bill is a “pre-emptive thing” against the rise of “anti-law enforcement activist” groups, Republican Sen. Don Ipson said.
According to the bill, independent civilian groups can meet to
discuss police policies but won’t have authority over a police chief’s
decisions or department procedures.
"There isn't a problem now," Ipson said, "but we feel like there is one coming if we don't do this."
bill is a response to a proposal for an elected board with veto powers
over the Salt Lake City Police Department. Opponents say the bill
prevents community action in response to police misconduct.
is what oversight needs," said David Newlin, an organizer for Utahns
Against Police Brutality. "You're supposed to have an independent body —
somebody who is fundamentally removed from the body you're overseeing
otherwise you're running into problems and running into conflicts of