Bill targets police interrogation tactics

By Guy Page

A full slate of testimony pro and con awaits the House Government Operations Committee this afternoon as it ponders another ‘cop control’ bill sponsored by Sen. Kesha Ram-Hinsdale (D-Chittenden). 

S250 would create a state database to collect reports of incidents of police bias or deceit, and commission a study of “the use of deceptive and coercive interrogation tactics employed by law enforcement.” 

The study will examine police use of “providing false facts about evidence to a suspect during an interview conducted after the commission of a crime results in an involuntary confession or admission to the crime” and other interrogration tactics. 

Scheduled to testify are Ram-Hinsdale and:

  • Benjamin Novogroski, Legislative Counsel, Office of Legislative Counsel
  • Xusana Davis, Executive Director of Racial Equity, Agency of Administration – Invited
  • Falko Schilling, Advocacy Director, ACLU of Vermont – ZOOM
  • Dan Fingas, Movement Politics Director, Rights and Democracy Vermont – ZOOM
  • Steffen Gillom, President, Windham County NAACP – Invited
  • Evan Meenan, Deputy Director, State’s Attorneys and Sheriffs’ Dept.
  • Julio Thompson, Director, Civil Rights Unit, Office of the Attorney General
  • Heather Simons, Executive Director, Vermont Criminal Justice Council – ZOOM
  • William Sorrell, Chair, Vermont Criminal Justice Council – Invited
  • Michael Schirling, Commissioner, Department of Public Safety – ZOOM
  • Brian Peete, Chief of Police, Montpelier, Vermont Police Association – ZOOM
  • Jennifer Harlow, Sheriff, Orleans County, Sheriffs’ Association – Invited
  • Sheriff Mark Anderson, Ph.D., President, Vermont Sheriffs Association – ZOOM
  • Gwynn Zakov, Municipal Policy Advocate, Vermont League of Cities and Towns – ZOOM

Ram also has co-sponsored S228, banning no-knock warrants, and S254, removing law enforcement officers’ qualified immunity from civil suits.

7 replies »

  1. Keep voting for these fringe alt left progressives and Vermont can be like california of burlington!! Can these legislators in Montpelier do anything FOR Vermonters like tax reform, road repair budget or managing home hearing costs??

  2. AZJim, They ARE! managing our heating costs, with global climate change!!

    Soon they will have doubled our costs for fossil fuels, then trippled!!
    That is “managing” the Gov’ment Way !?!?

    Freeze in the Dark. Lets test the idea in the Statehouse, next session !!?!

  3. I would hope that the various police departments around Vermont keep a close eye on who their enemies are in elected and appointed government. Someday those lawmakers may call police for help in a serious emergency, and my hope is that a social worker will arrive quickly to render assistance..

  4. Looks like Ram- Hindsdale needs to expand her base, this election year.
    A bill such as this, with sympathetic journalists reporting on it will pander to D’s and P’s.

  5. Oh? They are going to be examining “false facts” used in interrogations? It’s false facts that have brought us to this sorry state of affairs. To get rid of democracy; 1) eliminate trust in law enforcement. 2) dilute and end quality education (reading, history, math) 3) get rid of religious organizations. 4) instill confusion and division by endless focus on issues irrelevant to the people while, at the same time, never focusing on those issues of utmost importance to the people, 5) create a small cadre of chuckleheads to engineer the change.

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