By Spandana Palyam, Liberal Arts & Sciences Academy

“Police should not be able to use excessive force while detaining or questioning suspects,” argues Nick Gallego. To try and address this issue, he proposed a bill today to his committee.

Bill number 12 sheds light on the public view of police brutality. “Police get a lot of leniency,” Gallego says, when it comes to showing unnecessary aggression to the public. This causes a lot of anger and a negative view of the very people that citizens should trust to keep them safe.

Gallego’s proposed bill intends to give a penalty for a peacekeeper being excessively violent. The bill states that if an officer is being overly hostile (unlawful search, over-intimidation, etc.), then they must give two percent of their monthly income to the victim’s family for the rest of their life. If the officer does not comply, then they will face the consequence of getting their peace officer license repealed. This way, the public will know that no one is above the law, and police will also be more careful of overstepping boundaries.

Gallego believes that this bill is a step in the right direction. “This bill will improve society, because if we can lower the amount of police brutality cases, we can help restore faith in the general population of the state of Texas,” he said. Texas ranks second among U.S. states for the number of police brutality killings, and it has only had eight days in all of 2022 without police violence occurring. This excludes the recent riots protesting police actions that have occurred all over the country, which have left Americans screaming and fighting for a change in the law.

Three other legislators in the committee profusely supported the bill. Grace Ford acknowledged that police brutality is a big problem in this country and officers should “face consequences for their actions.” She also said she has faith that this will convey to the public that police will be served justice as well as any other person.

While some say this bill would be helpful and win-win for both sides, others disagree. Committee member Gavin Firestone, a legislator who argued in opposition of the bill, claims that this will cloud an officer’s ability to do their job. In his closing statement, Gallego responded by saying, “The last thing on their mind is protecting their job [while they are on duty]”.

The committee ended with a majority vote towards recommending the bill for Senate action.

Legislative delegate Nick Gallego listens to debate over his proposed bill.