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Tucson city leaders repeal controversial police-related ordinance

Posted at 10:50 PM, Jul 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-09 01:50:45-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Tucson Councilman Steve Kozachik said there was a time when the entire Council was on board with a rule that he says would have protected police crime scenes, nothing more.

"Everybody on the Council recognized that our police officers should not have to put up with that kind of verbal abuse."

So in April the council passed this measure.

He said a narrative from outside influences started to unravel the council's enthusiasm for the rule: ordinance 11746: "establishing police restricted areas and penalties for interfering with police investigations or enforcement activity."

"Quite frankly, because of public pressure, the rest of the council decided: 'gee, this is something that we're not comfortable with anymore," Kozachik said.

"Ouite frankly, for me, it's really simple, TPD has the need and the right to establish a legitimate crime scene."

On Tuesday, the Council voted to repeal that rule all together, citing the death of George Floyd in Minnesota and civil unrest across the country.

Kozachik said while some members of the Council talked about finding a compromise, his own expectations are low.

"We're not going to look at it later on. The cops know it, the Council knows it, the Mayor knows it. This is a done deal now and frankly it's too bad."

On the same matter, Councilman Paul Cunningham provided the following statement:

"The reasons behind the proposed ordinance were justifiable; but the timing couldn't be worse. The public engagement process for this ordinance was cut short by COVID-19 and we've had an in-custody death in the interim. There maybe a time when this ordinance can be revisited; but that time is not now."