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Garcia leads on long-overdue law enforcement reform coming to Harris County

Harris County Commissioner Adrian Garcia supports new proposed law enforcement procedures.

In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, Commissioner Adrian Garcia supported several proposed new law enforcement procedures to help end police misconduct.

Following his attendance at the funeral for George Floyd Tuesday, and after a marathon session of Harris County Commissioners Court, Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia was on the forefront of several criminal justice reform measures that were ultimately passed by court. The aim of these measures is to create meaningful change to immediately reduce and eventually eliminate misconduct by county law enforcement officials.

Due to the items’ approval, Harris County will soon begin evaluating the following (for expected additional future court action): investigating a standardization of use-of-force tactics, increasing public reporting when law enforcement officials are accused of misconduct, additional sharing of body-cam footage from officer-involved deaths and injuries of suspects, considering a shift in who responds to mental health distress calls, as well as several other groundbreaking moves.

“Though it occurred in Minnesota, here in Harris County, however, the tragic death of George Floyd will not have happened in vain. Real reform of how officers deal with the public is coming, so that going forward, what happened to George will hopefully never be repeated in the county where he grew up. I thank my colleagues on Commissioners Court for their assistance in getting these items approved,” said Commissioner Garcia.

SUMMARY OF ITEMS APPROVED BY COURT:

• Resolution honoring the life of George Floyd, acknowledging and decrying racist law enforcement procedures that led to his death (passed 4-1)

• Evaluation and eventual recommendations to propose standardization of use-of-force tactics (3 motions – all passed, 5-0, 4-1, & 4-1)

• Engaging the community to discuss best practices for county law enforcement budgets (passed unanimously)

• Study to evaluate who best should respond to potential mental health crises (passed unanimously)

• Consideration of a Community Oversight Board (passed unanimously)

• Analysis of racial disparities in incarceration rates (passed unanimously)

The measures will come back to court for further action.