CARSON CITY (KTNV) — Tuesday, alongside Attorney General Aaron Ford, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak signed Assembly Bill 58 and Senate Bill 50 into law on May 25 as it marks the one-year anniversary of the killing of George Floyd.
“Today, we are taking a step forward in honoring George Floyd and Breonna Taylor’s memories by taking action to address historic and long-stemming injustices in our country,” said Gov. Steve Sisolak. “Nevadans deserve to feel safe in their own homes and communities and it's critical that they trust that those charged with protecting them do so with integrity. I want to thank Attorney General Ford for bringing these measures forward in his consistent pursuit of justice for all Nevadans.”
“In my office, justice is paramount and our unofficial motto is 'Our Job is Justice,'" said Attorney General Aaron D. Ford. "Though the loss of George Floyd's life and countless others at the hands of police brutality can never be reversed, they have inspired my office to create lasting legislation in Nevada in the name of justice. Today, these two pathways for change were signed into law and I'm grateful to the Legislature, Governor Sisolak, and all of the members of this community who were a part of passing these bills. Justice must always be pursued consciously and continuously, and with these bills, we are taking one more step towards justice."
Assembly Bill 58 authorizes Nevada’s Attorney General to investigate whether a State governmental authority and any person acting on behalf of the State has engaged in certain patterns or practices that deprive a person of certain rights, privileges, or immunities.
Attorney General Ford said the measure was necessary because the federal U.S. Department of Justice — which was given authority to conduct such investigations in 1994 — ceased conducting them in 2017 under a former U.S. Attorney General. This legislation gives the State the ability to undertake similar investigations regardless of the policy at the federal level.
Senate Bill 50, among other provisions, prohibits a magistrate from issuing a no-knock arrest warrant or search warrant except under certain circumstances.
In petitioning courts for a no-knock warrant, the bill would require law enforcement to detail to a judge the investigation; if there is imminent public danger; why the warrant can’t be executed in daytime hours; if the alleged felon has a propensity for violence or escaping; “certify” that a less intrusive process isn’t possible. The officers must also reassess at the scene whether the need for the no-knock warrant still exists.
Officers who execute the warrants would need to be “trained in tactical or dynamic entry operations” and, when possible, wear body cameras.