Colorado Politics: There’s a lot going on at the Capitol these days, which makes it easy to miss important things; like the bill, now heading to the State Senate, to open up the majority of police internal affairs investigations to the public.
The ostensible reason for the legislation is to increase transparency; but one suspects other impulses at play as well, and it is these which cause uneasiness with the proposal.
The motives would appear to rise from concern over the perception of widespread police misconduct — excessive use of force, that sort of thing. Democratically speaking, the popularity of such measures is difficult to quantify — the vast majority of people think only of police-related matters when crime is a pressing neighborhood concern, at which point history shows they tend to oppose efforts to impinge further on the police officer’s job of ridding the streets of their tormentors. At other times, those of general tranquility and order, issues specific to law enforcement are pushed out of mind by more immediate concerns.
But at all times the aggrieved minority — herein defined as those who harbor a negative view of the police, either as something of an ideological matter, or because they did something to garner unwanted attention from a police officer — will be on hand to press their case, constantly and often loudly.
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