Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Buzzfeed: How Conservative, Tough-On-Crime Utah Reined In Police Militarization

We'll be sitting on the edge of our seat, waiting to find out how the ACLU and Libertas civil liberties coalition will roll up their sleeves for the 2015 Utah legislative session.

A Marriage Made in Heaven?
In the interest of  kicking off another Monday discussion, we'll highlight an uplifting story from Evan McMorris-Santoronternet of the internet news media company, Buzzfeed.  Here's the lede:
WASHINGTON — Here’s how you convince a legislature full of law-and-order Republicans to back efforts to rein in militarized police tactics:
Take a law passed by the Democratic legislature of Maryland, get the local chapter of the ACLU (and a group of libertarians) to rework it slightly, put it on the floor, watch it pass basically unanimously.
That was the unlikely recipe used — successfully — by activists in Utah [in 2014].
Inasmuch as the article's a mite fuzzy about exactly what the aforementioned ACLU and Libertarian "players" (namely the ACLU Utah Chapter and the Libertas Institute of Utah) accomplished through their joint collaboration during the 2014 Utah legislative session, we'll incorporate a brief and helpful summary, via the Salt Lake Tribune:
Moving back to the Buzzfeed story, Mr.McMorris-Santoronternet provides more tantalizing information, concerning ACLU Utah's and Libertas' plans for the 2015 legislative session, as they pick up where they successfully left off in March of this year:
And after the startling images of police deployments in Ferguson, Missouri, the same group of Utah activists is pretty confident it’ll be able to achieve even greater success in the next legislative session. This time, the activists are setting out to make Utah one of the first states to voluntarily limit the way its local police forces can accept and use surplus military equipment distributed by the Department of Defense. 
“It’s definitely another catalytic event,” said Connor Boyack, president of Libertas, the libertarian group that lead the effort with the Utah ACLU. “Some lawmakers who have been shocked at the images coming out of Ferguson … [and] have expressed skepticism that those scenes could ever be on the streets of Utah are nevertheless interested in looking at this because of the images coming out of Ferguson.”
“It just feels very timely for us,” agreed Marina Lowe, legislative and policy counsel for the ACLU in Utah. “Having a real national incident helped make this very real for everyone.”
Here'as the full Buzzfeed story, for those who'd like to read up:
Our take?  We'll be sitting on the edge of our seat, waiting to find out how the ACLU and Libertas civil liberties coalition, (a marriage made in heaven,we think) will roll up their their sleeves for the 2015 Utah legislative session.

So what say our Gentle Readers about all this, eh?


Johnny B. said...

I would have a very difficult time defining Utah Republicans as conservatives. The only thing I can see them being conservative on is keeping state money from helping our poor people.

Danny said...

This article is great news. These laws just passed, and by wide margins, are all good. What a pity that law enforcement opposed them. They show time and time again, they are the enemy of the people they are supposed to serve. But a big thank you goes out to Libertas and the ACLU for working these bills through. Now, how to permanently roll back the power of the police?

Danny said...

... and perhaps a fitting tribute to the memory of Matthew Stewardt Todd Blair, the kids recently killed in St. Louis, and all the other innocents who were murdered by police who were then exonerated by their corrupt captains and district attorneys.

A fitting tribute, but they cannot rest in peace until these police animals begin getting sentenced to death for their appalling brutality and criminality.

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