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Gov. Reynolds signs police reform bill banning most choke holds and addressing serious misconduct

Gov. Reynolds signs policing reform bill
Gov. Reynolds signs policing reform bill at Iowa State Capitol

DES MOINES, Iowa (KWWL) -- Governor Reynolds has signed the policing reform bill that was approved by both the Iowa House and Iowa Senate unanimously Thursday.

The House voted 98-0 while the Senate voted 49-0.

House File 2647 prohibits law enforcement and reserve officers who have been fired for serious misconduct from being re-hired. Serious misconduct includes repeated use of excessive force, conviction for a felony, fabrication of evidence, acceptance of a bribe or the commission of fraud.

The bill also bans choke holds except for in limited situations, including if a suspect has used or threatened to use deadly force in committing a felony or the officer reasonably believes the suspect would use deadly force unless immediately apprehended.

Under the law enforcement agencies would be required to provide annual de-escalation and bias training to all officers. The police academy would consult with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, local law enforcement agencies, and others, to develop and disseminate the training guidelines. The bill outlines in broad terms, the training guidelines that would be required.

Under the bill, the state attorney general would be able to investigate and prosecute, even if a county attorney does not, a law enforcement officer if his or her actions resulted in death. If the attorney general determines criminal charges aren't appropriate, they could then still refer the matter to the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy Council to recommend revocation or suspensions of the officer's certification.

The bill can be read in its entirety here.


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