SB 26 - This act creates provisions relating to public safety.
OFFENSE OF UNLAWFUL TRAFFIC INTERFERENCE (Section 574.045)
This act creates the offense of unlawful traffic interference if, with the intention to impede vehicular traffic, the person walks, stands, sits, kneels, lays, or places an object in a manner that blocks passage by a vehicle on any public street or highway.
This offense is a Class A misdemeanor if a person blocks a public street for the first violation and a Class E felony for any subsequent violation.
This offense is a Class E felony if a person blocks an interstate highway.
This offense is a Class D felony if a person blocks a street or highway as part of an unlawful assembly.
These provisions are identical to SB 9 (2020 Extra Special Session) and HB 288 (2019).
LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS (Section 590.502)
This act provides that when a law enforcement officer is under investigation which could lead to disciplinary action, demotion, dismissal, transfer, or placement that could lead to economic loss, the investigation shall include the following conditions:
• The law enforcement officer shall be informed in writing of the existence and nature of the alleged violation and who will be conducting the investigation;
• Any complaint filed shall be supported by an affidavit and if information in the affidavit is false then it shall be presented to a prosecuting or circuit attorney;
• Any investigation shall be conducted for a reasonable length of time and only while the officer is on duty unless any exigent circumstances prevent such questioning while on duty;
• Any investigation shall be conducted at a secure location at the agency that is conducting the investigation or the office of the officer unless the officer consents to another location;
• The law enforcement officer shall be questioned by a single investigator and shall be informed of the name and rank of the questioning officer;
• Law enforcement officers shall not be threatened, harassed, or promised rewards for answering questions, except that a law enforcement officer may be compelled to give protected statements to an investigator under direct control of the agency;
• Law enforcement officers are entitled to have an attorney or duly authorized representative present during questioning and
prior to the questioning the officer and his or her representative shall have the opportunity to review any audio or video in the possession of the agency;
• A complete record of the investigation shall be kept by the agency and a copy shall be provided to the officer upon request;
• The agency conducting the investigation shall have 90 days to complete such investigation and may extend the investigation under certain circumstances;
• The officer shall be informed in writing within 5 days of the conclusion of the investigative findings and any recommendations for further action; and
• A complete record of the administrative investigation shall be kept by the law enforcement agency and all records shall be confidential.
Any law enforcement officer suspended without pay shall be entitled to a full due process hearing as provided in the act. If the law enforcement officer is entitled to a hearing, a hearing shall be scheduled no more than 120 days following the notification of discipline, unless waived by the charged law enforcement officer.c Any decision following the hearing shall be in writing and shall include findings of fact.
This act provides that law enforcement officers shall have the opportunity to provide a written responses to any adverse materials in their personnel file. Law enforcement officers shall not receive separate punishments for the same alleged act by multiple administrative bodies.
Employers shall defend and indemnify law enforcement officers against civil claims made against an officer while the officer was acting within his or her duties as a law enforcement officer. If any criminal convictions arise out of the same conduct, the employer is no longer obligated to defend the officer in the civil claim. Law enforcement officers shall not be disciplined or dismissed as a result of the assertion of their constitutional rights in any judicial proceeding.
This act provides that a law enforcement officer may bring an action for enforcement of these provisions in the circuit court for the county in which the law enforcement agency or governmental body has its principal place of business. If the court finds that the law enforcement agency or governmental body violated the provisions of this act, the court may impose a civil penalty in the amount up to $5,000 for each violation. Upon a find by a preponderance of the evidence that a law enforcement agency or governmental body has purposely violated this act, the court may impose a civil penalty in the amount of up to $10,000.
These provisions are similar to SB 1053 (2020) and HB 1889 (2020).
MARY GRACE BRUNTRAGER