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Biden Introduces New Law Enforcement Bill

Senator Joe Biden has introduced the Law Enforcement Discipline, Accountability, and Due Process Act of 2003. Co-sponsors are the Chair of the newly formed Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Corrections and Victims' Rights, Senator GRAHAM, and Senator MCCONNELL and Senator BUNNING.

It's a bill to give cops more rights. Biden refers to the intent of the bill as creating a "law enforcement officers' bill of rights." Here is the statement Biden made in Congress yesterday when introducing the bill.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police opposes the bill. Biden says he thinks they can work it out.

It is my view that without a meeting of the minds between police management and union officials on this issue, enactment of a meaningful law enforcement officers' bill of rights will be difficult. It is my hope that the newly-constituted Subcommittee on Crime, Corrections and Victims' Rights, on which I serve as ranking member, will hold a hearing on this measure. That subcommittee is the proper forum in which to debate the merits of our approach to guaranteeing basic procedural safeguards to the men and women of law enforcement.

Biden also touts the bill as one giving greater rights to citizens. We haven't read all the fine print but this makes us skeptical:

Beyond benefiting those on the front lines of local law enforcement, this bill would enhance the ability of our citizens to hold their local police accountable if they do transgress while on the job. (emphasis supplied)

"If" they do transgress? Shouldn't that read "when" they transgress? The bill is S 1277. Congressional record cite is S8125, remarks and text S8127, CR 6/18/03.

First the Rave Act, now this. Biden can't sink any lower in our estimation--he's hit bottom.

Update: We just started reading the bill. Here's part of the preamble:

5) there are serious implications for the public safety of the citizens and residents of the United States which threatens the domestic tranquility of the United States because of a lack of statutory protections to ensure--

(i) the due process and political rights of law enforcement officers;

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