ST. LOUIS, Mo. – A new law in Missouri involves the investigation of police misconduct. That’s the topic of this interview with Brown and Croupen attorney Andrea McNairy.

“On the final day of the 2021 session, legislators passed the “Law Enforcement Bill of Rights,” It gives officers special legal protection for police misconduct investigations. The bill of rights provides that 24 hours prior to any interview, interrogation, investigation of alleged misconduct by an officer, that the officer is given an affidavit of the person complaining. That discloses what the complaint is, who makes it, and lets them prepare for whatever investigation or interrogation they’re going to be subject to,” said attorney Andrea McNairy

Why did this law come about?

“Proponents say officers are due process because they’re held to a higher standard than other occupations. They also say every department has different rules and procedures, which made it hard for officers to navigate. People and critics will say the law enables officers to basically prepare his or her story straight before any interrogation,” said attorney Andrea McNairy

Can officers be prosecuted criminally, civilly, or even both?

“I mean both depending on the circumstances. There is already a statute that says no officer is immune civilly or criminally for any action that includes excessive abuse or physical abuse or deadly force. So, there are already exceptions, though the exceptions are limited,” said attorney Andrea McNairy

How can citizens participate?

“The biggest way citizens can participate, that we’ve already seen, is they assist by just taking video. There is nothing illegal by videotaping anyone out in the public or videotaping a situation unfolding. Oftentimes, as we’ve seen in the past, that is what leads to an actual investigation or being able to sort out the facts,” said attorney Andrea McNairy