7 Things: Alabama database for policing passes as Columbus shooting facts become clear, voting twice is now illegal in Alabama, charter school funding bill fails and more …
7. Huntsville Police Citizens Advisory Council issues silly report
- A report that took 10 months to put together found that the Huntsville Police Department engaged in “unprofessional” behavior and addressed other complaints about the protests that took place on June 1 and June 3 last summer.
- The 248-page report suggests more training for the police in dealing with protests against the police and on racial issues, but the response by law enforcement was clearly a successful attempt to head off rioting and looting that had taken place in other cities.
6. Tuberville: We’re ready for U.S. Space Command
- U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) is advocating for how well-prepared Huntsville is to have the U.S. Space Command headquarters.
- Tuberville said during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that “many people in this room probably don’t understand Redstone.” He also mentioned the history Redstone has with NASA and the Marshall Space Flight Center, the Army Missile Command and the potential space advantages to having “800 suppliers and contractors building the very latest in space technology” near Redstone.
5. D.C. statehood passed by U.S. House
- In a 216-208 vote, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the legislation that would grant statehood to Washington, D.C. While the bill will now go to the U.S. Senate, its future is unknown due to the Democrat majority not being enough to pass the bill.
- Recently, President Joe Biden voiced support for D.C. statehood, with the White House describing the area as having “a robust economy, a rich culture, and a diverse population of Americans from all walks of life who are entitled to full and equal participation in our democracy.”
4. Charter school bill fails, AEA flexes muscles
- A bill that would have allowed more state tax dollars to follow students to state-run charter schools failed after education groups were spreading misinformation, according to State Representative Terri Collins (R-Decatur). The bill would have given charter schools the full share for each student that attend charter schools.
- After the bill failed, the Alabama Education Association took to Twitter to celebrate keeping funding from following students, declaring, “WE WON!! The charter school bill, HB487, just failed on the House floor 60-36! We thank you for your overwhelming response to legislators by letting them know our community schools matter!”
3. One voter integrity bill passes, another stalls
- The legislation sponsored by State Representative Chris Blackshear (R-Phenix City) and Senate Majority Leader Clay Scofield (R-Guntersville) that would make voting multiple times in the same election by voting in different states illegal has passed the Alabama Senate. Somehow, this was opposed by multiple legislators, with only Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton (D-Greensboro) and State Senators Roger Smitherman (D-Birmingham), Greg Albritton (R-Atmore), and Kirk Hatcher (D-Montgomery) voting against the bill.
- Legislation by State Representative Wes Allen (R-Troy) that would ban curbside voting has been delayed in the State Senate. The bill was only set aside after Democrat and Republican senators couldn’t come to an agreement on the bill. While the argument for the ban has been to protect the chain of custody for ballots, State Senator Roger Smitherman (D-Birmingham) said that this is “trying to put impediments in the way of people voting.”
2. More support for officer’s actions in Ohio
- The shooting of Ma’Khia Bryant in Ohio continues to be criticized, but in an interview, a neighbor who captured surveillance footage of the incident, Donavon Brinson, said that the police officer “reacted with what he thought was his best judgment.”
- Brinson added that “the video doesn’t lie.” There has been a national uproar over the shooting, and there has already been bodycam footage released of the entire incident. Brinson’s footage showed the incident from another angle that wasn’t previously available with the bodycams.
1. Alabama will now track officer complaints and disciplinary actions
- Governor Kay Ivey signed a bill that would create a non-public state database to keep track of problems with law enforcement officers so they do not go to another jurisdiction after facing discipline. The new database will track police officers’ employment history, disciplinary actions, use of force complaints and reassignments for cause to keep them from being employed after being removed from the force.
- State Representative A.J. McCampbell (D-Demopolis), a former police officer himself, sponsored a bill to keep bad officers from moving “from one city to the next city.” McCampbell said, “We have great officers. But it’s just like any other profession, you have great actors and you have bad actors. This is an opportunity to weed out the bad actors.”