Further scrutiny may be applied to deaths where law enforcement is involved

Law enforcement officers process the scene for evidence
after Salt Lake City police officers shot and killed a man on 500
South in Salt Lake City on Saturday, July 25, 2020. A police
spokesman said two officers responded to a call of a knife fight
between two men that resulted in the officers shooting and killing
one of the men.

(Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

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SALT LAKE CITY — Amid dozens of reform bills concerning law enforcement officers' use of force, the first bill on the topic passed the House on the session's opening day and moves onto the Senate for debate.

HB22 would require the chief medical examiner to investigate deaths resulting directly from actions of a law enforcement officer. The bill unanimously passed the House Tuesday.

The bill also assigns a criminal charge for anyone who knowingly provides misinformation to the medical examiner or the medical examiner's office. It also specifies that anyone who certifies the cause of death other than the medical examiner or their designee will face a class B misdemeanor charges.

"We have an excellent qualified medical examiner. Our law enforcement, this bill is not aimed at them in any way, they behave very well. Our goal is to ensure public confidence," said the bill's sponsor, Rep. Merrill Nelson, R-Grantsville.

More reform bills are expected to make their way through the Legislature during the next 44 days of the session.

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