Philadelphia police commissioner and district attorney testify before state lawmakers about police reform

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The House Democratic Policy Committee and the Legislative Black Caucus started a series of joint hearings on police reform in Harrisburg.

Each hearing focuses on a specific region of the state. The hearings began with Philadelphia.

Commissioner Danielle Outlaw talked about policy reviews underway in her department on Tuesday.

The use of tear gas has been banned during peaceful protests.

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Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw and Mayor Jim Kenney publicly apologized for authorizing the use of tear gas and pepper spray on protesters that spilled onto Interstate 676.

She told the panel she wants to eliminate no-knock warrants, a tactic used by officers prior to the killing of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky.

Other changes are on the way.

"Constitutional case law permits an exception to the knock requirements, but I am working with my staff here to look at policy to get rid of the use of 'no-knock' warrants altogether," Outlaw testified. "Use of force policy will be updated to clearly articulate that kneeling on someone's head or neck is prohibited. Barring any request and confer with the FOP, this policy will be implemented also by the end of the month."

District Attorney Larry Krasner gave impassioned testimony about the need to hold corrupt police officers accountable.

"I know a lot of really great cops. And you know what great cops hate? They hate dirty cops. They hate dirty cops because dirty cops tear down the reputation of good police officers, and dirty cops make good cops' lives more difficult. They endanger them, make it harder for them to solve crimes," Krasner said.

He added, "We need to have a system where trust is grown by having the few officers who are out of line accountable and lifting up the vast majority of these officers who want to wear that uniform and come correct."

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll found a majority, 63 percent of Americans, support the Black Lives Matter movement.

On the issue of police funding, 55 percent of Americans oppose moving funds from police departments to social services.

Forty-three percent say they oppose it "strongly."
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