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Rep. Ellington proposes ‘Hands Up’ bill


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Rep. Brandon Ellington, representing the 22nd District of Kansas City, has filed House Bill 1086, which makes it unlawful for law enforcement officers to shoot suspects while surrendering.

House Bill 1086 makes it an offense for law enforcement officers to shoot an individual while their hands are up in surrender. In addition, the law also makes it a Class A Felony if the victim dies as a result of the shooting.

“Police shootings are undercounted. Although recent reform and training efforts have worked to bring down police shootings, the US Justice Department has moved away from these reforms. It’s up to the states to take action, and I believe this bill will serve as a deterrent” said Ellington.

The ‘hands up’ gesture is globally known as a signal of vulnerability and a sign of peace. Synonymous to the white flag being raised during a time of war, the hands up gesture is a sign of surrender. When presented to law enforcement, the sign should be treated as a submission to the officer’s authority. Between 2015 and 2018, police shot and killed over 3,300 people. Of those, 7 percent were not armed at the time of the shootings. One innocent life taken is one too many, so it is time to bring civility back to law enforcement.

“We all want good police officers serving in our neighborhoods, and we expect them to protect and serve,” said Ellington. “What we don’t want is for police to feel free to act like Judge Dredd where they are the judge, the jury and the executioner.”