Proposed Bill: OK Officers Using Excessive Force Would Lose Collective Bargaining

Friday, February 27th 2015, 5:17 pm
By: News 9

Senator Brian Crain has proposed this bill three times, and he said he feels with recent events nationwide, this bill's time has come.

Excessive force by police was caught on cameras from California to Florida.

But the video from Oklahoma sparked Senator Brian Crain's desire to, as he puts it, protect cities.

"What we're left with right now is that they are paying heavily for trying to do the right thing," said Senator Brian Crain, District 39.

In 2011, Owasso's Lt. Mike Denton was fired for his excessive force in video captured by police cameras.

But Denton was put back on the force with a letter of reprimand, and the City of Owasso had to pay Denton more than $280,000 in benefits and back pay.

Sen. Crain said Denton's status and the city's payout was due to an on an out-of-state arbitrator.

Now Sen. Crain said he wants to eliminate the arbitrator.

And the collective bargaining agreement "shall not apply to police officers that were found to have used excessive force" and instead the officer "may petition the district court."

"We are going to make sure this is handled by elected officials and seen by judges who are responsible for protecting the law in Oklahoma,” said Sen. Crain.

But officials with the Oklahoma Fraternal Order of Police have been fighting this bill all three times and stated:

"This bill just adds yet another level of litigation to the process, and it opens municipalities to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in wrongful termination lawsuits. We believe the current process is fair and effective."

Sen. Crain remained his bill protects cities and the 99 percent of good police.

"Like most people in Oklahoma we want to protect and support law enforcement wherever we can," said Sen. Crain.

Sen. Crain's bill passed a senate committee, and will be heard in the full senate.