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Utah lawmakers discuss police reform bills

Posted at 9:31 PM, Feb 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-04 23:31:06-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah lawmakers tackled police reform through a series of bills Thursday in the House Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Committee.

“I think we can work together and find something we can all agree with,” said Rep. Mark Wheatley (D) of Salt Lake City said of HB133.

The bill was put on hold after a lengthy discussion regarding the bill that would require all Utah law enforcement agencies to release body camera video of a critical incident within 10 days.

Lawmakers tabled a HB074 that would allow cities to form civilian review boards over police departments.

Many bills brought up in 2021 stem from protests in the summer demanding police reform.

Read: Report details police reforms following civil unrest in Utah

House Bill 0058 requires a person arrested for rioting to go before a judge before being released from jail. If convicted, they must pay restitution.

Despite concerns from the ACLU of Utah and a defense attorney, the bill passed with a favorable recommendation.

A bill stemming from the Lauren McCluskey case passed unanimously Thursday. It prevents anyone involved in an investigation or prosecution from copying or sharing intimate images used in the case.

It comes after investigation found a former University of Utah officer mishandled intimate photos of McCluskey submitted as evidence in an extortion case.

Read: No charges for former U of U officer who showed explicit photos of Lauren McCluskey

“I think this is good policy because it protects victims,” said Rep. Andrew Stoddard, ® Sandy.

Other bills that will be heard on the House floor would require K-9 officers to undergo annual certification and HB229 would preventing mugshots from being publicly released by law enforcement.