in the State House of Representatives
on May 11, 2022, by a vote of
Purpose: The purpose of this vote was to make police more accountable to those they serve, by working in three areas.
Vermont law currently collects roadside demographic stop data. S.250 expands roadside stops to any police encounter with citizens. Police officers would be required to note: an individual’s age, gender, and race, the grounds for the stop, any searches, evidence collected, physical force used, written warnings and citations issued.
S.250 would form a 12-member Giglio Database Study Committee, creating a “database designed to catalogue potential impeachment information concerning law enforcement” (ie: pending claims against officers in Vermont). The committee will offer its recommendations for how this database would be funded.
Finally, S.250 the Joint Legislative Justice Oversight Committee (formed in 2005) is instructed to study the prevalence of questionable police interrogation techniques, such as providing a suspect “false facts about evidence” to elicit a confession.
Analysis: Those voting YES believe police have already shown their biases from roadside data currently collected, suggesting a need for a more substantial data collection, which would be compiled from all law enforcement agencies in the state. They believe evidence exists of Vermont police receiving forced confessions from individuals without the mental capacity to understand, and want to prohibit such confessions. Others voting YES would have liked for S.250 to go beyond a study.
Those voting NO believe that cataloging every single police encounter with individuals will overburden exhausted police with more paperwork, resulting in fewer hours spent making communities safer. Most study committees offer written reports with legislative recommendations, whereas this committee asks for “a report in the form of proposed legislation.” A study in good faith would not reach a predetermined conclusion that the police are already guilty of misconduct.
As Recorded in the House Journal, on Wednesday, May 11, 2022: “…shall the bill pass in concurrence with proposal of amendment?, was decided in the affirmative. Yeas, 95. Nays, 40. (Read the Journal, p. 1041-43)
Sally Achey (R - Middletown Springs) – NO
Paul Lefebvre (I – Newark) – NO