Colorado bill would define prone restraint as excessive force if used inappropriately

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Colette Bordelon is a reporter with Denver7.

DENVER — On Tuesday afternoon, the House Judiciary Committee was filled with law enforcement — from the smallest of Colorado communities, to the largest cities — sitting alongside people who know what it's like to be arrested.

“We have introduced a bill that clarifies when prone restraint can be used, and most importantly, when someone must be put in a recovery position, allowing them to breathe and save lives," Herod said. “This bill clearly defines prone restraint as a use of force, putting it into the accountability section.”

One of the supporters of the bill is Shataeah Kelly. Kelly was arrested by Aurora police officers in 2019.Fired Aurora officer apologizes for not helping 'inverted' suspect 9:09 PM, Oct 01, 2020 Body-camera video from the arrest shows Kelly being forcefully tied with her hands and legs behind her back. She was put into the backseat of a police cruiser on her stomach. The video shows her in that position for more than 20 minutes.

Vasquez said the amendment helped alleviate some concerns about the bill — but not all of them. He still worries it will be burdensome on organizations across the state, and could hurt hiring and retention.

 

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