Federally Required Psychological Screenings for Police Employment and Federal Reforms

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Over this past decade, we have seen numerous police killings and brutality—much of which has been captured with the help of social media. The use of social media has exposed much of the violence which would have otherwise been hidden. Recently, George Floyd was a victim of this violence. A police officer in Minneapolis, Derick Chauvin, used his knee to pin Floyd down by his neck. A 10 minute video captured his murder. Floyd pleads that he can't breath, and about halfway through the video, Floyd appears unconscious and is likely dead at this point. Still, Chauvin keeps Floyd pinned to the ground with his knee until the paramedics arrive; ignoring his duty to render aid. Also captured, were the three other officers at the scene who also refused to assist Floyd and ignored the pleas of the bystanders to check his pulse.

It was recently shown that Chauvin had multiple complaints against him, 2 of which he was punished for. The following proposed law would be able to prevent many of the incidents which have occurred with George Floyd, Freddie Gray, Atatiana Jefferson, and countless others.

As of now, potential officers go through a psychological screening before employment that tests their fitness to be an officer. The test screens for judgement, integrity, dealing with stress, honesty, etc. This needs to go further in order to eliminate people who could pose a danger to citizens while on the job. Not all states require psychological screening which makes a federal requirement a necessity. The psychological screening, which is already done to screen an officer, should be more in depth and should also include evaluations that test for psychotic disorders, mood disorders & personality disorders. Around 88% of police departments have required drug screening. This should be included in all police departments since it would serve as a necessary precaution for screening.

Since Chauvin was involved in incidents during his tenure as an officer, a re-screening should be required every 6 months to a year while the officer is employed. Much like how a doctor or lawyer is re-examined on their knowledge to ensure they are fit to practice, an officer should be required to take a re-examination too. These requirements should be federally mandated to ensure that across the country, officers are screened effectively. I appreciate you for taking the time to read this. Thank you!

UPDATE (6/5/20): Since posting this petition, I have received numerous suggestions which I believe should be included and federally required as well. These include: regular & initial drug testing, social media screening, a federal hate crime for falsely reporting a racial crime, redirecting police funding in major cities to programs that support the communities, a national database for police officers involved in misconduct, QR codes on uniforms, an associates degree requirement for all departments, and banning police officers from being hired at another department if they are fired from one previously.