This article is shared with LebTown by content partner Spotlight PA.
By Spotlight PA Staff
In 2020, after the police murder of George Floyd and a nationwide wave of protests, lawmakers in the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus blocked a state House session from starting and demanded that Republicans who controlled the chamber take meaningful action to hold police officers accountable.
A series of conversations with policy makers, law enforcement officers, and community members followed, and eventually legislators passed a bill creating a database to track misconduct by police officers. The bill, signed into law that summer, and later lauded as a national model, was touted by state officials as a tool for accountability.
Two years later, a Spotlight PA review found that the database is riddled with loopholes and lacks meaningful enforcement mechanisms. Although every state police agency is required to use the database, the law does not include any penalties if they do not comply. Agencies are required to upload records if an officer leaves their employment, but not if they receive a warning or are suspended but still able to keep their jobs.
On Thursday, July 7 at 6 p.m. ET, join Spotlight PA on Zoom for a free Q&A on the limitations of the state’s police hiring database and a discussion of other police accountability efforts.
Our panelists include:
- Danielle Ohl, criminal justice reporter for Spotlight PA
- Chris Rabb, state representative serving Philadelphia County
- Raff Donelson, associate professor of law at Penn State Dickinson Law
- Others panelists to be announced
» Spotlight PA’s events operate on a “pay-what-you-can” honor system. If you value this public-service event, pay it forward and contribute any amount to Spotlight PA now so we can keep our programming free for everyone: spotlightpa.org/donate.