CARSON CITY, Nev. (KLAS) — Holding police officers more accountable — that’s the goal of new legislation, just passed Saturday night by the Nevada Assembly.
The bill, brought up during the state legislature’s second Special Session this summer, includes several changes, including limiting the use of chokeholds.
In a bipartisan vote Saturday night, the Nevada Assembly passed AB3 — the police reform bill.
It limits the use of chokeholds and requires more intervention and reporting when it comes to use of force incidents.
While some believe it’s a good step forward, others say it’s either too restrictive or it doesn’t do enough.
AB3 effectively bans officers from using chokeholds, although lawmakers clarified there are exceptions for self-defense.
“I don’t want to give the impression that a chokehold could never be used,” said Assemblyman Steve Yeager.
Other key parts of the bill include:
- Requiring an officer to intervene if another officer uses “unjustified physical force” and requiring that action to be reported
- Mandating drug and alcohol testing on officers who are involved in shootings
- Allowing the public to record law enforcement activity.
“Assembly Bill 3 in front of you is the embodiment of what we can do better in the State of Nevada, because if we aren’t moving forward, we’re standing still, which means we are falling behind,” Yeager said.
Metro Police representatives say they are in support of the bill.
“As an agency, we’re always looking to improve our policy and do what’s best practices across the country,” said LVMPD lobbyist Chuck Callaway.
Others in law enforcement are in opposition.
“Why is it that suspects that die in police custody always end up on the ground prior to their death? The answer is simple: they resisted arrest,” said Scott Nicholas — vice president of the LVPPA.
Some criminal justice advocates say the bill only covers the bare minimum.
AB3 was discussed in the senate as well, but some had problems with the process.
“It takes a long time to really get a good bill worked out. This has been rushed,” said State Senator Ira Hansen. “This bill should not be in a special session.”
The bill passed through the Senate committee and will now go the full Senate for a vote.