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Gov. Polis signs Colorado’s historic police reform bill into law

police body camera

DENVER (KRDO) -- Colorado Gov. Jared Polis will be bringing a sweeping change to police standards in Colorado with the stroke of his pen Friday.

Senate Bill 217 was passed with ease in the Colorado Legislature, and it adds new changes to the way police can use deadly force; establishes an oversight board for police use of force; requires the use of body cameras and orders the release of footage to the public when misconduct by police is alleged; and removes qualified immunity for police officers that protected them in civil lawsuits.


Read the full bill text here.

We reported when the bill was introduced that it aimed to remove the "fleeing felon" rule that lets officers use deadly force on suspects who are believed to have committed a felony if they're running away. The updated bill adds many more rules to the use of deadly force and adds stipulations to prevent unannounced warrant service.

While the bill's passage came as good news, to others, like the Bailey family, it was bittersweet.

"The governor signed this bill that came a little too late, a lot too late. I'm hurt, I'm upset. I don't know how to feel," Greg Bailey said.

His son, Devon Bailey was shot and killed by Colorado Springs Police on August 3rd, 2019. He ran away from officers after they confronted him about a reported robbery. Both officers have been cleared of any wrongdoing.

His father said today, "how should I feel? It had to take something happening to another black man in another state for anything to happen here in Colorado."

First, the bill calls for peace officers to "apply nonviolent means, when possible, before resorting to the use of physical force. A peace officer may use physical force only if nonviolent means would be ineffective in an arrest, preventing an escape, or preventing imminent threat of serious bodily injury or death to the peace officer or another persons." Deadly force also can't be used to catch a person who is suspected of only a "minor or nonviolent offense."

Officers also won't be able to use chokeholds or apply any pressure to the neck or throat that would prevent breathing.

When it comes to deadly force, the bill says peace officers will only be justified if "all other means of apprehension are impractical given the circumstances" and the following conditions:

  • the arrest is for a felony involving the use or threatened use of deadly physical force -- like if a suspect points a gun at an officer.
  • there is substantial risk that the suspect will cause death or serious bodily injury if not caught.
  • the force doesn't create a risk of injury to innocent bystanders.

Under those standards, the Colorado Springs Police shooting of De'Von Bailey last year would likely not be ruled justified. Bailey's parents were in attendance behind Gov. Polis at the bill signing on Friday.

All uses of force will be reviewed.

A sponsor of the bill, Senate President Leroy Garcia from Pueblo explained, this bill is not meant to worry good police officers.

"Many of them are great officers, have good integrity and they're in the business for the right reason to serve and protect, but officers who aren't, this bill is going to apply to them. We want to make sure we have exceptional officers out there working," Senator Garcia explained.

You can see our recap of the bill, including information from local lawmakers and police representatives, at this link here.

Andrew McMillan

Andrew is the Digital Content Director for Learn more about Andrew here.

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Krystal Story

Krystal is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Krystal here.



    1. No sense in being overjoyed about Gov. Polis’ physique because he’s already taken.

  1. “orders the release of footage to the public when misconduct by police is alleged”
    So then it is trail by society? So all you have to do is allege misconduct and it has to be released? There needs to be more depth to that to make sure claims are legit and not for creating a trail by society. Just like the red flag law.

    1. I say f the guvna and don’t allow him to use state patrol for his security detail… wonder who he will call when he needs help… come back to pueblo pole and see how much ruder the state fair will be for you this year…lol

  2. Can we pass a law saying criminals must follow the same guide lines?
    Why do criminals have so many laws that protect them?
    Democrats, always looking out for the bad guys.

    1. Can you give your uniform back? I feel ashamed that I sponsored you with my tax dollars.

      1. Officer’s feel honored to be sponsored by you for the five dollars of you taxes that actually get to a line level officer.

    2. Bad guys do not follow laws. If they did, they would not be bad guys.

  3. To anyone considering a career as a LEO, don’t do it, it has been turned into one of the worst jobs in America. Criminals are being given control over you, the lives and safety of police have been put in more jeopardy than ever before.
    Veteran police who want to leave the job for another career we fully understand and support you.
    Violent groups with their members/suporters, BLM (Black Looting Monsters) and pANTIFA act more like domestic terroist groups than protesters and the gutless politicians are allowing them to be their guiding light in making police reform decisions and allowing the formation of cop hating committees.
    Thes people want the privilege to commit crime without consequences….NOT GONNA HAPPEN.
    There are much better carrees to consider that do not come with the burden of knowing you may go to work one morning and by the end of the day be murdered because you hesitated or charged with murder because you had to shoot someone before they killed you. The risk of being personally sued is also a big financial risk now.

      1. I can only imagine all the drugs your brain has been fried on.
        America is going to be destoyed if the communist democrap domestic terrorists BLM and pANTIFA, who are on a mission to destroy America, are not crushed.
        These are not protesters but American hating, white hating racists…..Pulling down a statue of George Washington, one of America’s favorite icons sends a clear message that these groups want anarchy and America destroyed.

        1. The only drug I use is free thinking, you should give it a try. 😉

          By the way George Washington was a piece of shit. He moved his slaves out of state every so often so he wouldn’t have to follow the law requiring they be released after a certain period of time. Also under his presidency taxes were FIVE TIMES HIGHER than they were under the British, and he raised an army to put down the people who protested against an unfair whiskey tax.

          Also lol at thinking dumbass liberals in the democratic party are Antifa. They enable fascists as surely as you are one.

          1. So this is your excuse to riot, burn, loot, kill, injure and destroy cities across America , hurting all people as well as other blacks??
            Blacks in Africa were the first link in the suppy chain that supplied black slaves to slave traders.
            You sound like a uneducated person with no skills or a descent job, if any, who blames your failure to achieve a good life on everyone but yourself.
            BLM (Black Looting Monsters) and pANTIFA are domestic terrorists and got zero support from good lawful Americans…..You are a American hating, white hating racist communist democrap crackpot, you fool no one.
            You seek anarchy and the destruction of America and hopefully end up in prison, like the rest of your ilk, if you engaage in violence.

          2. 😂😂😂

            Another pathetic racist who can only repeat himself even after he’s been trounced.

      1. Sure but that honor and integrity wants to be defined by American hating, white hating racist violent rioting criminals who have neither.
        I see you have no message for criminals because you hate the police.

    1. Everything you said was well-worded, truthful and needs to be said to everyone. Thank you!

  4. Look at all the cry babies crying. Finally, maybe now we will add to the already great officers we have on the streets and get rid of the few bad ones. Start with the CSPD chief since he thinks he does not need to meet with citizens.

    1. No ones going to want to be a cop. That’s was my dream. It’s not worth getting sued, put in jail or getting killed.

      1. All the great officers will be leaving. Agency’s will not be able to attract candidates to fill these positions. Agency’s will have to lower their standards in order to fill the open positions. It all goes downhill from there. This is all part of the democrat plan to bring in a federally run police force. Do you know who also did that? Hitler.

  5. Under those standards, the Colorado Springs Police shooting of De’Von Bailey last year would likely not be ruled justified.”
    Under the new standards, most cops aren’t going to bother to chase people anyhow. Not worth it.

  6. Gov Polis is a piece of sh@t. I hope that when a criminal gets away because a cop was too afraid to be charged with murder, and that criminal goes on to kill someone or rape someone, that it’s someone he loves and ccares about and not someone I love and care about.

    1. Wait til these angry mobs blow back on the crats, they’ll put a stop to it. I think of Sunzi, these riots are like fire, and fire is an equal opportunity weapon, starting too big a fire can destroy your own camp as well. The silent majority will not let us look like a tribal 3rd world country. I’ve got retired local police in my family and feel sorry for these LEO’s now. These are the people that protect us from lawlessness and violence.

  7. In the 37 years I have lived here, I have never hated a Colorado governor – until now.

  8. The cops arent out there to play ‘tag’s with the bad guys. There was a guy that robbed a guy at gun point, the guy that got robbed called the police gave the description and the cops showed up in the neighborhood. Upon finding the suspect, knowing that he is armed, tried to search the suspect. The suspect ran, with a illegally owned gun and was shot to death.
    Were the cops just supposed to say ‘aw, we’ll get him next time’? Or wait til robs someone again? Or kills someone? This robber would’ve just had more to add to his rap sheet and still had his life, but nope, had to run while being questioned…
    Crime is just gonna keep going up is cops know they arent backed by their leaders and criminals are more embolden by knowing this.
    Everyone wants to blame the cops. Why do the cops have to keep going into the same neighborhoods? Maybe if the right things were taught at home in these neighborhoods? Maybe if there was more family structure? There are bad cops, but if you dont give a reason for cops to be around you in the first place… just sayin’…

  9. I want an officer’s first thought to be to run towards the danger. Now, with this bill, the officer’s first thought is going to be, “Will I get sued if I run towards the danger.” The Supreme Court has already ruled that an LEO is not legally required to save anyone’s life, now they aren’t even going to try.

  10. Heard an interview with the local DA talking about this bill. As with any law pushed through quickly it has several problems. Some are just clerical errors but that shows it was not well reviewed. He said parts of it contradict other parts. He also said the ACLU is saying they are the ones who wrote it, enough said.

  11. Thank you, Gov. Jared Polis. Only those guilty of misconduct, such as police brutality or murder should be worried.

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