In the coming months, the US House and Senate will be moving forward with debate regarding HR7120, a bill that addresses a wide range of issues regarding policing practices and law enforcement misconduct. It includes measures to increase accountability for law enforcement's lousy behavior.
Embedded in the bill there exists proposed transparency of data collection and provisions to eliminate discriminatory policing practice -all laudable much-needed changes. However, to make things less contentious for our police, equally, we should insist on including substantial penalties. (1) any individual who disobeys police commands, (2) any individual who resists arrest by a police officer.
While HR 7120 seeks to establish a framework to prohibit racial profiling, we should require that the bill provide a level of protection for police from those who become confrontational while being questioned or arrested. Systemic racial challenges exist, and we must support addressing the issues through legislation.
Nevertheless, as legislative measures are directed to reduce police profiling, use of excessive force, and bias - when good officers, those we depend on to promote public safety and keep order - are confrontationally challenged by individuals who choose to break the law, we have an equally measured obligation to shield them.