Roll Call! House Passes Deadly Force Standards for all VT Police (106-37), 2020

S.119 AN ACT RELATING TO A STATEWIDE USE OF DEADLY FORCE POLICY FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT 

PASSED
in the State House of Representatives
on September 22, 2020, by a vote of
106-37

Purpose: S.119 seeks to narrow the legal protections given to Vermont police officers for use of force and “justifiable homicide.”

Analysis: Vermont’s current justifiable homicide statute says that a police officer will be held “guiltless” before the law if they use deadly force while “suppress(ing) riot or rebellion, prevent(ing) or suppress(ing) invasion, serving a legal process, (or) in suppressing opposition (against the officer) in the just and necessary discharge (of the officer’s) duty.” S.119 narrows this statute so that an officer would only be “guiltless” for homicide if they are “promot(ing) and protect(ing) the health, safety, and welfare of the public.”

Officers must consider language barriers, medical conditions or factors “beyond the (suspect’s) control” when deciding whether to use force. For officers not under an “imminent threat,” choke holds would no longer be permissible for subduing a suspect. The overall criteria for force will be based on “a reasonable officer in the same situation.”

Those voting YES believe the state’s current laws on deadly force, dating back to the 1700’s, need to be updated. They believe the current law gives Vermont police too much leeway in using violent force. They hope S.119 will reduce the number of instances in which police use violent and deadly force to subdue individuals. Supporters seek to “shape police culture” with these reforms, creating more accountability of law enforcement to Vermonters.

Those voting NO believe this legislation is too vague and was too hastily developed, lacking feedback from law enforcement. Consequently, the lives of officers may be placed in danger. They believe recent legislation for reforming Vermont Criminal Justice Council should be given a chance to work before further reforms are made.

As Recorded in the House Journal, Tuesday, September 22, 2020: "Shall the House propose to the Senate to amend the bill, as recommended by the committee on Judiciary? was decided in the affirmative. Yeas, 106. Nays, 37." (Read the Journal, p. 1805-1811). Watch the floor debate on YouTube.

How They Voted
(Click on your Rep’s name to send an email)

Janet Ancel (D – Calais) – YES
Peter Anthony (D – Barre) – YES
Sarita Austin (D – Colchester) – YES
Robert Bancroft (R – Westford) – ABSENT
John Bartholomew (D – Hartland) – YES
Lynn Batchelor (R – Derby) – NO
Christopher Bates (D – Bennington) – NO
Scott Beck (R – St. Johnsbury) – YES
Matthew Birong (D – Vergennes) –YES 
Thomas Bock (D – Chester) – YES
Patrick Brennan (R – Colchester) – NO
Timothy Briglin (D – Thetford) – YES
Nelson Brownell (D – Pownal) – ABSENT
Cynthia Browning (D – Arlington) – YES
Jessica Brumsted (D – Shelburne) – YES
Thomas Burditt (R – West Rutland) – NO
Mollie Burke (P – Brattleboro) – YES
Scott Campbell (D – St. Johnsbury) – 
William Canfield (R – Fair Haven) – NO
James Carroll (D – Bennington) – YES
Seth Chase (D – Colchester) – YES
Robin Chesnut-Tangerman (P – Middletown Springs) – YES
Annmarie Christensen (D – Weathersfield) – YES
Kevin “Coach” Christie (D – Hartford) – YES
Brian Cina (P – Burlington) – YES
Sara Coffey (D – Guilford) – YES
Selene Colburn (P – Burlington) – YES
Hal Colston (D – Winooski) – YES
Peter Conlon (D – Cornwall) – YES
Charles Conquest (D – Newbury) – YES
Sarah Copeland-Hanzas (D – Bradford) – YES
Timothy Corcoran (D – Bennington) – YES
Mari Cordes (D/P – Lincoln) – YES
Lawrence Cupoli (R – Rutland) – NO
Carl Demrow (D – Corinth) – YES
Eileen Dickinson (R – St. Albans) – NO
Kari Dolan (D – Waitsfield) – YES
Anne Donahue (R – Northfield) – YES
Johannah Dovan (D – Burlington) – YES
David Durfee (D – Shaftsbury) – YES
Caleb Elder (D – Starksboro) – YES
Alice Emmons (D – Springfield) – YES
Peter Fagan (R – Rutland) – NO
Charen Fegard (D – Berkshire) – YES
Martha Feltus (R – Lyndon) – NO
Marianna Gamache (R – Swanton) – ABSENT
John Gannon (D – Wilmington) – YES
Marcia Gardner (D – Richmond) – NO
Dylan Giambatista (D – Essex) – YES
Diana Gonzalez (P – Winooski) – YES

Kenneth Goslant (R – Northfield) – NO
Maxine Grad (D – Moretown) – YES
Rodney Graham (R – Williamstown) – ABSENT
James Gregoire (R – Fairfield) – YES
Sandy Haas (P – Rochester) – YES
Lisa Hango (R – Birkshire) – NO
James Harrison (R – Chittenden) – NO
Nader Hashim (D – Dummerston) – YES
Robert Helm (R – Fair Haven) – NO
Mark Higley (R – Lowell) – NO
Matthew Hill (D – Wolcott) – YES
Robert Hooper (D – Burlington) – YES
Philip Hooper (D – Randolph) – YES
Mary Hooper (D – Montpelier) – YES
Lori Houghton (D – Essex) – YES
Mary Howard (D – Rutland) – YES
Kathleen James (D – Manchester) – YES
Stephanie Jerome (D – Brandon) – YES
Kimberly Jessup (D – Middlesex) – YES
Mitzi Johnson (D – Grand Isle) – PRESIDING
John Killacky (D – S. Burlington) – YES
Charles Kimbell (D – Woodstock) – YES
Warren Kitzmiller (D – Montpelier) – YES
Emilie Kornheiser (D – Brattleboro) – YES


Jill Krowinski (D – Burlington) – YES
Robert LaClair (R – Barre) – NO
Martin LaLonde (D – S. Burlington) – YES
Diane Lanpher (D – Vergennes) – YES
Paul Lefebvre (R – Newark) – YES
Felisha Leffler (R – Esburgh) – YES
William Lippert (D – Hinesburg) – YES
Emily Long (D – Newfane) – YES
Terence Macaig (D – Williston) – YES
Michael Marcotte (R – Coventry) – NO
Marcia Martel (R – Waterford) – NO
James Masland (D – Thetford) – YES
Christopher Mattos (R – Milton) –NO
Michael McCarthy (D – St. Albans) – YES

Curtis McCormack (D – Burlington) – ABSENT
Patricia McCoy (R – Poultney) – NO
James McCullough (D – Williston) – YES
Francis McFaun (R – Barre) – NO
Leland Morgan (R – Milton) – NO
Kristi Morris (D – Springfield) – NO
Mary Morrissey (R – Bennington) – NO
Michael Mrowicki (D – Putney) – YES
Barbara Murphy (I – Fairfax) – YES
Linda Myers (R – Essex) – NO
Logan Nicoll (D – Ludlow) – YES
Terry Norris (I – Shoreham) – YES
William Notte (D – Rutland) – YES
Daniel Noyes (D – Wolcott) – YES
John O’Brien (D – Tunbridge) – YES
Jean O’Sullivan (D – Burlington) – YES
Carol Ode (D – Burlington) – YES
“Woody” Page (R – Newport) – NO
Kelly Pajala (I – Londonderry) – YES
John Palasik (R – Milton) – NO
Carolyn Partridge (D – Windham) – ABSENT
Avram Patt (D – Worcester) – YES
David Potter (D – Clarendon) – YES
Ann Pugh (D – S. Burlington) – YES
Constance Quimby (R – Concord) – NO
Barbara Rachelson (D – Burlington) – YES
Zachariah Ralph (P – Hartland) – YES
Marybeth Redmond (D – Essex) – YES
Peter Reed (I – Braintree) – YES
Lucy Rogers (D – Waterville) – YES
Carl Rosenquist (R – Georgia) – NO
Brian Savage (R – Swanton) – NO
Robin Scheu (D – Middlebury) – YES
Heidi Scheuermann (R – Stowe) – YES
Patrick Seymour (R – Sutton) – NO
Charles “Butch” Shaw (R – Pittsford) – NO
Amy Sheldon (D – Middlebury) – YES
Laura Sibilia (I – Dover) – NO
Brian Smith (R – Derby) – NO
Harvey Smith (R – New Haven) – NO
Trevor Squirrell (D – Underhill) – YES
Thomas Stevens (D – Waterbury) – YES
Vicki Strong (R – Albany) – NO
Linda Joy Sullivan (D – Dorset) – YES
Mary Sullivan (D – Burlington) – YES
Randall Szott (D – Barnard) – YES
Curt Taylor (D – Colchester) – YES
Thomas Terenzini (R – Rutland) – NO
George Till (D – Jericho) – YES
Tristan Toleno (D – Brattleboro) – YES
Catherine Toll (D – Danville) – YES
Casey Toof (R – St. Albans) – YES
Maida Townsend (D – South) – YES
Joseph “Chip” Troiano (D – Stannard) – YES
Kelley Cota-Tully (D-Rockingham) -YES
Tommy Walz (D – Barre) – YES

Kathryn Webb (D – Shelburne) – YES
Rebecca White (D – Hartford) – YES
Theresa Wood (D – Waterbury) – YES
David Yacovone (D – Morristown) – YES
Michael Yantachka (D – Charlotte) – YES
Samuel Young (D – Greensboro) – YES



 

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  • John and Lincoln
    commented 2020-10-03 11:28:45 -0400
    Unreal. Take the LE’s tools and defense away. No lethat force allowed for riots or invasion. Just surrender to overwhelming numbers. That’s whats been going on in Portland all summer. The 3 Northeast Counties should petition New Hampshire to be allowed to become counties of that state and secede from Vermont!
  • David Flemming
    published this page in Roll Calls 2020-10-01 15:15:52 -0400