PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Calls are coming from citizens across the country for police reform and in many places, lawmakers are listening.
Allegheny County Council was supposed to discuss, and possibly vote on, reforms for county police during Tuesday night’s meeting but something got in the way.READ MORE: Threats Place All Pittsburgh Public Schools On Modified Lockdown Friday
That something was some council members saying they had not read all of the public comments they received.
The reform bill being discussed would limit the usage of tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse a crowd.
Whenever there is a proposed ordinance, members of the public are permitted to make comments. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Allegheny County residents were able to submit comments through an online form.
The council reportedly had received more than 280 comments.
To save time, council president Pat Catina said he would read the list of all the names of those who commented and then place the comments into the meeting’s minutes.READ MORE: Gas Smell Could Stick Around For Months After Fuel Spills Into Washington County Creek
Bethany Hallam, one of the cosponsors of the bill, argued that council members are supposed to take the public comments into consideration before voting on a bill.
“I just want to say that despite that being our attention, I cannot in good faith move forward with trying to get a vote on this tonight,” Hallam said in the meeting.
Hallam said council members only received 60 comments in their emails before the meeting.
The bill was sent to the Health & Human Services Committee.
Some members were confused by that decision, saying it should have gone to the Public Safety or Government Reform Committees.MORE NEWS: Furry Tails: Sunny, Ender And Rascal Are Waiting For Forever Homes
If this ordinance passes, any officer who violates the use of less-lethal force would face a maximum fine of $300 and a 30-day jail sentence for each violation.