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Nevada AG comments on new justice reform laws

Updated: May. 25, 2021 at 5:32 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - “Went to bed feeling fine. But woke up in a funk. And then it dawned on me,” Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford said as he opened up the press conference in front of his office building in Carson City.

It would be a bittersweet day for Ford. The year anniversary of the death of George Ford had him feeling uneasy.

He said he was the state’s chief law enforcement officer. But the Floyd death was a murder at the hands of a police officer.

“Because he knew, he could use his badge, as an excuse to get away with murder,” said Ford.

At the same time, just hours earlier two justice reform bills signed by the governor just across the street, provided hope to the AG who became emotional as he described the personal significance of the two new laws to his sons, nephew, and wife. Fighting back tears Ford said,

“The level of perpetual anxiety, that we have to exist with, it is just an unfair burden. And we have to stop it.” The laws he says place Nevada in the forefront of Justice reform.

Senate Bill 50 would limit no knock warrants to the rarest of circumstances. The law is in response to the case of Breonna Taylor who was killed when such a warrant was executed last year in Louisville.

“I could not do it before,” Ford said of Assembly Bill 58.

AB 58 allows the Nevada Attorney General to investigate any law enforcement agency within the state for patterns of violating civil rights

The law allows the AG to not only examine the actions of suspect departments but also file civil charges against those agencies should violations be discovered.

“The Nevada State Law Enforcement Association. Washoe County Sheriff’s Office The American Civil Liberties Union.....,” said Ford as he listed the wide and varied agencies who supported this bill. Many of them worked closely with the Attorney General’s office over the past year on what they hope will restore faith and trust in law enforcement.

The attorney general says these laws simply codify best practices here in Nevada.

When asked if they are only as good as the person holding the attorney general’s office, he agreed, and added, he is committed.

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