Congress should adopt Iowa law

Last week, Senator Ernst bemoaned the lack of support by Democrats for the Republican Policing bill in the U.S. Senate. Democrats said it didn’t go far enough – it didn’t require anything, merely recommended, suggested, encouraged. You know, the same policy that has the U.S. suffering from the 125,000 plus COVID-19 related deaths with no sight of the end of the threat. Recommendations, suggestions, encouragements don’t get people to stop going to bars, parties, in public without masks and social distancing. Recommendations, suggestions, encouragements won’t stop some cops from choking a man to death.

I received my weekly newsletter from Senator Ernst and found her remarks regarding Police reform disingenuous and misleading.

She said, “Congress needs to follow Iowa’s lead on this issue. We need more Iowa in Washington.”

She said, “Congress needs to follow Iowa’s lead on this issue.”

On that, I agree.

Iowa’s bill — “Prohibits the use of a choke-hold in an arrest, except when a person cannot be captured any other way or has used or threatened deadly force.

It prevents an officer from being hired in Iowa if they have a previous felony conviction, were fired for misconduct, or left before they could be fired for misconduct. The bill allows the Iowa attorney general to prosecute a criminal offense committed by an officer if their actions result in the death of another. The bill also mandates yearly anti-bias and de-escalation training for law enforcement.

Iowa’s law uses terms such as prohibits, prevents, and mandates — words which were conspicuously absent from the Republican version in the U.S. Senate and are present in the Democratic House version. The version Republicans put forward in the U.S. Senate has no mandates, just recommendations, leading one to conclude that Republicans aren’t really serious about police reform. She would have us believe otherwise.

I would agree that the Iowa version should be replicated in the U.S. Senate – can we count on Senator Ernst to introduce Iowa’s Police Reform legislation into the U.S. Senate? I would think Democrats would support it, but I’m not convinced that Senator Ernst is truly in favor of requiring/prohibiting/mandating anything.


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