Legislature(2021 - 2022)BUTROVICH 205

05/06/2021 03:30 PM Senate STATE AFFAIRS

Note: the audio and video recordings are distinct records and are obtained from different sources. As such there may be key differences between the two. The audio recordings are captured by our records offices as the official record of the meeting and will have more accurate timestamps. Use the icons to switch between them.

Download Mp3. <- Right click and save file as

* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
Moved CSHB 3(JUD) Out of Committee
Heard & Held
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
Heard & Held
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
Heard & Held
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
Heard & Held
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
Heard & Held
-- Invited & Public Testimony --
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
Heard & Held
Heard & Held
Moved SJR 12 Out of Committee
Moved CSSB 91(STA) Out of Committee
Moved SB 117 Out of Committee
                       SB 1-CHOKEHOLD BAN                                                                                   
4:40:05 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHOWER  announced the  consideration of  SENATE BILL  NO. 1                                                               
"An Act prohibiting the use  of chokeholds by peace officers; and                                                               
relating to justification of use of force by peace officers."                                                                   
4:40:23 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GRAY-JACKSON,  Alaska State Legislature,  Juneau, Alaska,                                                               
sponsor of  SB 1, stated  that the recent civilian  casualties by                                                               
law  enforcement   has  created   real  momentum  to   address  a                                                               
longstanding  injustice. She  related  that her  office has  been                                                               
working with Senator  Begich's office to craft a  series of bills                                                               
to  reduce  police  violence.  She  has  talked  to  stakeholders                                                               
throughout  the process  to  ensure  the proposals  in  SB 1  are                                                               
fitting for Alaska.                                                                                                             
SENATOR  GRAY-JACKSON reported  that  she  engaged the  Anchorage                                                               
Police  Department,   Anchorage  Police   Employees  Association,                                                               
Public   Safety   Employees   Association,   and   the   National                                                               
Organization of  Black Law Enforcement Executives  (NOBLE) during                                                               
this  process.  Because  of  this   proactive  approach,  she  is                                                               
confident  in moving  forward to  implement public  safety policy                                                               
changes  that  will benefit  both  citizens  and law  enforcement                                                               
4:43:10 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GRAY-JACKSON read the following  sponsor statement for SB
     Police use  numerous restraints  to restrain  and limit                                                                    
     the movement and overall activity  of someone who poses                                                                    
     a  danger to  themselves  or to  others (including  the                                                                    
     police officer). One of the  most common restraints are                                                                    
     carotid  and tracheal  chokes.  Both restraints  impede                                                                    
     breathing   and   circulation   of  blood.   If   these                                                                    
     restraints   are   used  incorrectly,   death   through                                                                    
     asphyxiation may  occur. Throughout the  United States,                                                                    
     there  are cases  of the  misuse of  chokeholds. Senate                                                                    
     Bill  (SB)  1 would  assist  in  reducing the  rate  of                                                                    
     chokeholds used incorrectly. SB1  would further seek to                                                                    
     improve police community  relationships by addressing a                                                                    
     longstanding issue around use of force.                                                                                    
4:43:59 PM                                                                                                                    
BESSE  ODOM,  Staff,  Senator  Elvi  Gray-Jackson,  Alaska  State                                                               
Legislature,  Juneau,   Alaska,  read  the   following  sectional                                                               
analysis for SB 1:                                                                                                              
     Section  1. This  section amends  AS 11.81.370,  the statute                                                             
     regarding  use of  force by  a  peace officer  in making  an                                                               
     arrest or terminating  an escape by adding  a new subsection                                                               
     that   would  prohibit   the  use   of  potentially   lethal                                                               
SENATOR  REINBOLD offered  her understanding  that the  Anchorage                                                               
Police Department  (APD) already  had this prohibition  and asked                                                               
what particular Alaska peace officer group was being targeted.                                                                  
SENATOR GRAY-JACKSON  agreed that  APD prohibits choke  holds and                                                               
said she brought this forward because  the policy is not in state                                                               
statute. Therefore, a different APD  police chief could decide to                                                               
change  the  current  policy.  The  bill  would  apply  to  peace                                                               
officers throughout the state.                                                                                                  
CHAIR SHOWER turned to invited testimony.                                                                                       
4:46:39 PM                                                                                                                    
PETER  MLYNARIK, Board  Member, Alaska  Association of  Chiefs of                                                               
Police (AACP), Soldotna,  Alaska, stated that he has  been in law                                                               
enforcement for 31 years, the last  9 of which have been as chief                                                               
of police  in Soldotna. He  said AACP agrees that  without proper                                                               
training,  the use  of  choke holds  and  carotid restraints  can                                                               
cause  serious   injury  or  death.   It  is  not   uncommon  for                                                               
departments to prohibit these types  of force. AACP also believes                                                               
that police agencies  in Alaska have good  policies regarding use                                                               
of force  and it is  therefore unnecessary to  mandate compliance                                                               
in statute. He  offered his professional opinion  that the proper                                                               
use of carotid restraints may  prevent further injury. Whether or                                                               
not  this  type of  restraint  is  used  should  be made  by  the                                                               
department.  He said  his  experience is  with  the Alaska  State                                                               
Troopers and  the Soldotna Police Department,  but he understands                                                               
that  it  is  uncommon  in  Alaska to  use  a  chokehold  carotid                                                               
restraint when dealing with an individual.                                                                                      
SENATOR REINBOLD  expressed appreciation  for the input  from the                                                               
frontline. She  commented on being  a minority voice  and offered                                                               
her view that everyone should be heard.                                                                                         
4:50:14 PM                                                                                                                    
MARK  PEARSON,  President,   Alaska  Peace  Officers  Association                                                               
(APOA0, Soldotna, Alaska,  stated that he has been  active in law                                                               
enforcement for the  last 18 years and the  APOA organization has                                                               
been  active in  representing law  enforcement for  75 years.  He                                                               
advised  that  when  APOA  had  its  annual  meeting  to  discuss                                                               
relevant  legislation  with  AACOP,  PSEA and  APDA,  they  voted                                                               
unanimously to  oppose SB 1,  SB 2,  SB 3, SB  4, and SB  46. The                                                               
reason  for  the  opposition  was   the  collective  belief  that                                                               
policing  regulation and  certification  should  remain with  the                                                               
Alaska   Police   Standards   Council   and   within   individual                                                               
departments.  He  said  Alaska   has  unique  challenges  due  to                                                               
geography  and  limited backup  and  its  peace officers  do  not                                                               
respond in  ways that  might escalate  the situation.  He offered                                                               
that  his experience  in remote  locations is  that somebody  you                                                               
arrest one day might be your  backup another day, so everybody is                                                               
treated with respect.                                                                                                           
MR. PEARSON  challenged the information on  BASIS indicating that                                                               
APOA supports  SB 1  and other policing  bills because  they sent                                                               
letters of opposition for  SB 1, SB 2, SB 3, SB 4,  and SB 46. He                                                               
said that  as the  current president  of APOA  he speaks  for law                                                               
enforcement throughout  the state.  He stressed  that SB  1 would                                                               
place officers  at risk and  would negatively  affect recruitment                                                               
and retention.                                                                                                                  
SENATOR  REINBOLD asked  if the  Alaska Police  Standards Council                                                               
(APSC) had a position.                                                                                                          
MR. PEARSON recalled  that in a previous hearing  APSC said these                                                               
issues are already addressed in statute,  but they did not take a                                                               
specific position.                                                                                                              
CHAIR SHOWER  said he was  welcome to send his  written testimony                                                               
to ssta@akleg.gov.                                                                                                              
4:56:46 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GRAY-JACKSON clarified that she  never said that APOC was                                                               
part of the process when she was working on the bill.                                                                           
4:57:13 PM                                                                                                                    
MS.  ODOM confirmed  that the  sponsor's office  did receive  the                                                               
letters of opposition from APOC.  She emphasized that contrary to                                                               
what  the   APOC  letter  stated,   SB  1  does  not   take  away                                                               
decertification  authority  from   the  Alaska  Police  Standards                                                               
Council. She added that the  bill provides individual departments                                                               
and agencies  as to  when it  is safe to  use these  methods. She                                                               
directed  attention  to the  language  on  line  8 that  read  as                                                               
follow:   "...force is authorized  by law  and the policy  of the                                                               
entity that employs the officer."                                                                                               
SENATOR  GRAY-JACKSON added  that  her  office worked  diligently                                                               
with the chair of the Alaska Police Standards Council.                                                                          
4:59:16 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHOWER opened public testimony on SB 1.                                                                                   
4:59:33 PM                                                                                                                    
KATIE  BOTZ,  representing  self,  Juneau,  Alaska,  thanked  the                                                               
sponsor for SB  1 and SB 4  and asked the committee  to pass both                                                               
bills. She  stated support for  the police and related  a concern                                                               
she had  heard that  police officers  in Juneau  do not  have the                                                               
proper training to use choke holds.                                                                                             
5:01:21 PM                                                                                                                    
MORGAN LIM, Planned Parenthood  Alliance Advocate (PPAA), Juneau,                                                               
Alaska,  on behalf  of PPAA,  stated support  SB 1  and SB  4 and                                                               
urged  the committee  to move  both bills  forward. He  said PPAA                                                               
stands with  Black, indigenous, and  people of  color communities                                                               
as they  seek to  create communities where  they feel  safe. This                                                               
involves transforming  law enforcement. He  said SB 1 is  a first                                                               
step  towards  reducing police  use  of  force, including  deadly                                                               
force.  He  mentioned  that  SB  4  would  prohibit  police  from                                                               
discharging a  firearm at  a moving vehicle.  He cited  data that                                                               
identifies Alaska as  the second highest rate  of police killings                                                               
in the  country and  the second highest  rate of  police violence                                                               
against  Black   and  indigenous   people.  [His   testimony  was                                                               
terminated due to time constraints.]                                                                                            
5:03:06 PM                                                                                                                    
CEYLON  MICHELL,  representing  self, Anchorage,  Alaska,  stated                                                               
that as  a retired sergeant  with the Department  of Corrections,                                                               
he was testifying against SB 1 and  SB 4. He said he has 45 years                                                               
in  law enforcement/corrections,  and  he has  not  found a  more                                                               
professional and  well-trained group of officers  than those that                                                               
he worked with  in Alaska. They take pride in  serving the people                                                               
of  Alaska and  they put  their lives  on the  line for  Alaskans                                                               
every day. He emphasized that officers  go to work each day to do                                                               
their  job to  protect citizens  and they  also want  to go  home                                                               
safely to their families.                                                                                                       
5:04:29 PM                                                                                                                    
DANIEL POTTER,  representing self, Mat-Su Valley,  Alaska, stated                                                               
that he  has been in  law enforcement  in Alaska for  about seven                                                               
years and has never seen a  chokehold used. He shared that he had                                                               
experienced choke holds  numerous times while in the  Army and he                                                               
is "fine."  He offered his  belief that there  was a lot  of fear                                                               
mongering associated with  this method of restraint  and that law                                                               
enforcement was  being over legislated.  He stated  opposition to                                                               
both SB 1 and SB 4.                                                                                                             
5:05:36 PM                                                                                                                    
RON  VIGIL, Anchorage  Chapter President,  Alaska Peace  Officers                                                               
Association, Anchorage, Alaska, stated opposition  to SB 1, SB 4,                                                               
and SB 46. He related that in  his 24 years in law enforcement he                                                               
has worked  for departments  that allow  and departments  that do                                                               
not allow  lateral vascular  neck restraints.  He knows  the APSC                                                               
sets the standards for the training  that is required and to over                                                               
legislate to  Lower 48  standards is  not appropriate  for Alaska                                                               
communities. He asked the committee not to pass the bills.                                                                      
5:07:18 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHOWER recessed the meeting to a call of the chair.                                                                       
5:36:30 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SHOWER reconvened  the  meeting. A  roll  call showed  the                                                               
presence  of SENATOR  COSTELLO in  capitol room  118 and  SENATOR                                                               
HOLLAND in  capitol room  113 and CHAIR  SHOWER in  the committee                                                               
5:37:26 PM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR SHOWER  closed public testimony on  SB 1 and held  the bill                                                               
in committee.                                                                                                                   

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SB 82 Change Record.pdf SSTA 5/6/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 82
SB 82 Law Fiscal Note.pdf SSTA 5/6/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 82
SB 82 Sectional Analysis Version B, as am..pdf SSTA 5/6/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 82
SB 82 Sponsor Statement version A.pdf SSTA 5/6/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 82
SB 82 Version B.pdf SSTA 5/6/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 82
SB115 Sectional Analysis 04.07.21.pdf SEDC 3/14/2022 1:30:00 PM
SJUD 3/14/2022 1:30:00 PM
SSTA 5/6/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 115
SB115 Sponsor Statement 04.07.21.pdf SEDC 3/14/2022 1:30:00 PM
SSTA 5/6/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 115
SB 4 Sectional Analysis-DTD 2-2-21.pdf SSTA 5/6/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 4
SB 4 Sponsor Statement-DTD 2-2-21.pdf SSTA 5/6/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 4
SB 4 Suporting Documentation (additional).pdf SSTA 5/6/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 4
SB 4 Supporting Documentation.pdf SSTA 5/6/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 4
SB 4 Version B.PDF SSTA 5/6/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 4
SB 1 ver B.PDF SSTA 5/6/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 1
SB 1 ver B Supporting Document Police Guidelines Permit 1.22.2021.pdf SSTA 5/6/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 1
SB 1 ver B Supporting Document Largest Police Departments Ban Neck Restraints 1.22.2021.pdf SSTA 5/6/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 1
SB 1 ver B Sponsor Statement 1.25.2021.pdf SSTA 5/6/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 1
SB 1 ver B Sectional Analysis 1.22.2021.pdf SSTA 5/6/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 1
SB 1 ver B PowerPoint Presentation 1.19.21.pdf SSTA 5/6/2021 3:30:00 PM
SB 1