UNITED UTAH PARTY PROPOSES REFORMS TO REDUCE RACISM IN LAW ENFORCEMENT IN UTAH
The United Utah Party is saddened by the events of the past week commencing with the tragic and wrongful death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer last Monday, but also including the reaction of some that included burning, looting, and vandalizing in a large number of cities across the nation. We support those who exercised their American right to protest, including marching and demonstrating, in opposition to racism. We oppose those who took advantage of those protests to cause destruction and hurt the cause of protests against racism.
We urge those who are angry to choose productive ways to make a difference. That includes voting in November to elect representatives who will address issues of racism, unlawful police actions, and policies that do not reflect our values of equality and respect for all. In this upcoming election, voters will face a choice between state legislators who have done little or nothing to address racism and UUP candidates who seek to assure that all Utahns, regardless of race, can enjoy all the rights they are due. The UUP platform states that: “Every individual is of inherent worth, has a right to be respected, and deserves to fully participate in our shared political and economic life.” We know that pervasive racism over the nearly 250 years of our nation’s history has robbed many individuals of their rights. We also know that racism will not end overnight.
Once elected, UUP candidates will help take steps to reduce racial discrimination in the enforcement of the law. We propose the following measures that, if UUP candidates win, can be introduced as bills to become law in Utah:
The purchase and use of bodycams for every officer in Utah. The state should set a goal of equipping every police officer in the state with a bodycam by 2023. A bodycam will protect police officers from unfair charges, but also remind the police officer that his or her actions are being recorded.
A requirement that a police officer report every stop (not just an arrest) that he or she makes, including information about what happened in the stop and demographic information about the person being stopped. People of color often report that they are stopped repeatedly by police officers as a form of harassment, but not ticketed because they have committed no crime. This harassment would be reduced if a police officer needed to report who was stopped and what happened during the stop.
Require that all police departments in the state use civilian review boards to review citizen complaints about police. These civilian review boards would assure that complaints are addressed and not ignored. Police should not be handling civilian complaints about themselves.
These are just a few of the changes that the UUP would like to implement to address racial discrimination among some police officers and reduce racial tension in law enforcement. Unlike the majority of current legislators, we promise to take serious action to address the problems illuminated in the death of George Floyd.
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