The GOP Have Fought Back Against Washington D.C.’s Troublesome Police Reform Law, But Not Everything Is So Easily Resolved (Guest: Michael Letts)
Law enforcement veteran Michael Letts fears that police will still have an uphill battle if President Biden vetoes the disapproval.
Things have been very rough for police officers over the past couple of years, between millions of dollars being removed from official budgets and the uproar from the “Defund the Police” movement. Now, Republicans just handed Washington D.C. officers a major victory – though it’s not likely to last.
Mid-last week, the House voted to dismantle a police reform law in the state, with the GOP and a handful of Democrats finding in favor. Known as the Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Emergency Amendment Act, it put a number of restrictions on officers, including making disciplinary records and body camera footage available to the public, as well as limited access to necessary tools like riot gear and tear gas.
Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) made it clear that police were facing an uphill struggle with such restrictions put in place. “Officers are expressing their great concern with their feet and are leaving faster than they can be replaced. The DC police force has been depleted to an astonishing half-century low.” (And keep in mind that other states are also seeing a major police exodus, with rapidly rising crime in their districts.)
However, several Democrats have voiced their concerns over the disapproval, and President Biden’s White House administration has made it clear that he intends to veto it once it crosses his desk. “He will not support congressional Republicans’ efforts to overturn commonsense police reforms such as: banning chokeholds; limiting use of force and deadly force; improving access to body-worn camera recordings; and requiring officer training on de-escalation and use of force,” the White House said in a statement. “Congress should respect the District of Columbia’s right to pass measures that improve public safety and public trust.”
So what does this mean for police as a whole, especially with the uncertainty of support for officers? Joining us now to discuss this further is Michael Letts, a law enforcement veteran with over 30 years of experience under his belt.
Michael serves as Founder, CEO and President for InVest USA, an organization that provides bulletproof vests to police officers through various charitable groups and sponsorships. His expertise should prove very useful in this matter.
- Why do you think the D.C. police reform law was put into place in the first place? Concern from the “Defund the Police” crowd? Pressure from Biden? Something else?
- Do you believe Republicans are more concerned about the growing criminal rate in major cities than Democrats? This vote, with only a handful of Democrats finding in favor of it, seems to provide that kind of picture.
- Do you believe it is necessary for police to use tools such as riot gear and tear gas? Especially with the growing riots against them that have taken place in various cities?
- Do you think it’s concerning that the law makes records of police actions public? Wouldn’t the media just have a field day with this sort of thing? Would it be used just to keep city officials “innocent” in certain matters?
- Do you think Biden is being way too hasty to automatically veto the bill instead of seeing the reasoning the Republicans and small group of Democrats had in reversing the police reform law?
- If Biden does veto it, what do you think will happen next? Will police forces continue to dwindle until Congress has no choice but to pass the “fund the police” bill that Biden had previously trumpeted about?
- You’re the creator of InVest USA, an organization that provides bulletproof vests to police officers through various charitable groups and sponsorships. Tell us more about that, and why support for fellow officers is so important right now.
- Tell us more about Restoring Justice, the new website where you help out citizens in need surrounding law matters.
- Where can we learn more about InVest USA, Restoring Justice and whatever else you’re working on?
About Michael Letts:
Michael Letts is the Founder, President, and CEO of InVest USA, a national grassroots non-profit organization that is helping hundreds of communities provide thousands of bulletproof vests for their police forces through educational, public relations, sponsorship, and fundraising programs. He also has over 30 years of law enforcement experience under his belt, hence his pro-police stance for his brothers and sisters in blue. Those interested in learning more about Letts can visit his official website here.