Michigan Black Caucus introduces law proposals to increase policing accountability

As protesters across the globe and in southeast Michigan continue their fight for justice for African-Americans killed by police, lawmakers in Lansing want to do more than say these victims' names.

On Thursday. members of Michigan's Legislative Black Caucus introduced legislation designed to increase accountability in policing.

"No one should be above the law especially law enforcement," said  Rep. Tyrone Carter (D-Detroit). "(This legislation) removes law-abiding immunity for officers who use unreasonable physical force. Let's be clear - unreasonable, unjustifiable." 

Earlier this month a federal judge provided a temporary restraining order for the activist group *Detroit Will Breathe.* It prevents Detroit Police from using several tactics and equipment on peaceful protesters including sound cannons and smoke bombs unless in self-defense of themselves or civilians.

Activists believe legislation introduced Thursday provides another layer of protection against unlawful policing.

"Police officers have gotten away with murder for far too long," said Rev. Charles Williams III, chair, National Action Network Michigan Chapter.

In addition to the legislation, Williams believes more reforms are needed.

"Reform in terms of how police officers are educated, how they are recruited, how they serve in certain communities how they hold on to their license," he said. 

Some critics argue that this legislation could lead to frivolous lawsuits. Williams disagrees.

"There's nothing that can give a life back when one has been killed or harmed due to police brutality," Williams said. "And that should be taken seriously no matter how long it takes."