Particularly with the perspective of the nationwide “Black Lives Matter” demonstrations in 2020, police accountability has never been more of an important issue. In addressing legislation designed to permit first-responders the ability to apply for disability benefits based on occupationally-related PTSD, we opposed a provision that could have allowed police officers to recoup disability benefits if they allege to suffer from PTSD from misconduct that they have themselves inflicted on a civilian. Such concerns are not hypothetical – an Arizona police officer was temporarily rehired by his department to apply for such benefits due to PTSD after being acquitted for the fatal shooting of an unarmed civilian who had begged the officer not to shoot him. We urged amendment to the bill so that police officers do not have the opportunity to seek compensation following these types of incidents. This bill passed the Senate, but died in committee.
Police PTSD Disability Benefits (H 5373, S 230)
Representative Stephen Casey and Senator Melissa Murray
Passed Senate, Died in House