Rep. Zeldin Reintroduces Resolution Urging Creation of Law Enforcement “Bill of Rights” | Congressman Lee Zeldin

Rep. Zeldin Reintroduces Resolution Urging Creation of Law Enforcement “Bill of Rights”

March 30, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON - Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1) reintroduced a resolution denouncing calls to “defund”, “disband”, “dismantle”, or “abolish” law enforcement and encourage states to adopt statutes to establish essential rights for law enforcement officers. This comes on the heels of multiple levels of government, from the federal government to local municipalities, undermining protections for our local police officers, including the termination of qualified immunity. 

Currently, 15 States have adopted some form of a “Bill of Rights” for law enforcement officers. 

This resolution includes language for a “bill of rights” for law enforcement personnel that protects the public and respects the rights of law enforcement personnel, including: 

  1. The law enforcement officer should have an inherent right to self-defense against physical threats; 

  2. The law enforcement officer should have the right to legal recourse if a civilian attempts to assault the law enforcement officer; 

  3. Physical harassment targeting the law enforcement officer should not be permitted; 

  4. The law enforcement officer should have the right to equipment necessary for personal protection; 

  5. The law enforcement officer should have the right to counsel and/or a union representative present at any interview conducted as part of an investigation;

  6. The law enforcement officer should have a right to be informed of the nature of the investigation before any interview commences, including the name of the complainant and sufficient information to reasonably apprise the officer of the allegations; 

  7. During questioning in the course of an investigation, the law enforcement officer should not be subjected to any offensive language, nor should be threatened with departmental, civil or criminal charges, nor receive financial or promotional inducement: 

  8. The law enforcement officer should be entitled to a hearing, with notification in advance of the date, access to transcripts and other relevant documents and evidence; 

  9. The law enforcement officer should have the opportunity to respond to adverse accusations; 

  10. The law enforcement officer should not be disciplined for exercising a Fifth Amendment right to remain silent unless granted immunity that such statements will not be used against the officer in any criminal proceeding; 

Congressman Zeldin said, “This resolution makes it clear we will not stand idly by while some attempt to dangerously ‘defund’, ‘dismantle’, or ‘abolish’ law enforcement units and officers. Our nation’s law enforcement officers put their lives on the line each and every day to defend ours, and they have earned nothing but our full support. In doing so, we must ensure that both our great law enforcement officers and the people they serve are protected.”

This resolution has earned the endorsement of the Suffolk County Police Benevolent Association, Fraternal Order of Police and the National Association of Police Organizations.