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.