Policing police: Senators want public list of Nebraska officers with record of misconduct
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Two state senators are pushing for a law to make a public list of police officers who have been involved in any misconduct or have a disciplinary history.
This comes after a Lincoln police officer was removed from service amid investigations into domestic abuse allegations.
Many police departments already keep a Brady list, which is named for the 1963 U.S. Supreme Court case of Brady v. Maryland.
These Brady lists “contain the names of police employees whose integrity has been undermined due to their own actions and involvement in a case,” according to a statement by Sens. Terrell McKinney and Justin Wayne.
After promotions at the Omaha Police Department of officers who were on its Brady list, the two senators believe legislation that would make these lists public would be “a step in the right direction.”
McKinney said checks need to be put in place to hold officers accountable.
“We hear a lot of times that, you know, not all cops are bad,” McKinney said. ” I just think from a transparency perspective, it would be good to know who they are. What do you have to hide? What’s wrong with accountability? What’s wrong with transparency?”
The senator also said laws like this will help the public to police the police officers.
“We also need independent community oversight for police,” he said. “I strongly believe they cannot police themselves. And I think it’s important from not even my perspective as a senator, but just as a taxpaying citizen.”
Spike Eickholt from the ACLU of Nebraska said laws like this are a good idea in order for the public to know more about what is going on with police officers.
“What’s good about that law that they’ve proposed is that it would require these lists be public,” he said. “So not only the defendants and their lawyers can have access to it easily, but so can the public. The public is sort of entitled in our opinion to know what the police are doing on their behalf.”
He also said that while police make mistakes like everyone else, they should be held to a higher standard since they are enforcing the law.
McKinney said he would work to put forward this type of legislation in the next session.