Exclusive: A review of the new, improved Waterloo Police use-of-force policy

More than two years after outside experts recommended a “complete review” of guidelines on the use of force, the Waterloo Police Department finally adopted a new policy in December 2017. Police leaders didn’t publicize the changes, and to my knowledge, no media have reported on the revisions.

In many ways, Waterloo’s updated use-of-force policy reflects national consensus on best policing practices. Some improved passages appear to be a response to notorious local incidents of officer misconduct.

On the other hand, several important principles on the use of force are missing from Waterloo’s new document.

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John Norris in a league of his own

James Pierce is a Democratic volunteer in Iowa City and a junior at the University of Iowa. Bleeding Heartland welcomes guest posts advocating for Democrats in competitive primaries. -promoted by desmoinesdem

Not long ago, I thought this primary might be the first time that I would walk into the voting booth undecided. A lot of candidates I like are running for governor, all of whom bring different qualities and ideas to the table.

As I observed the primary however, it become increasingly clear that only one candidate had everything I was looking for. As a proud progressive Democrat, I want a governor who exemplifies those values. That every human life is equal in value. Every Iowan matters and deserves to have their government work for them. That every Iowan deserves a seat at the table and an opportunity to thrive and succeed.

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Fight racism by voting in local elections

Jeff Cox offers some reasons for Iowans who care about racism to “think local.” -promoted by desmoinesdem

Low levels of voter turnout in America are disheartening. Bernie Sanders showed that large numbers of young, new voters can be brought into the electoral system. But what about local elections for school board and city council elections, not to mention bond issues, and the sadly neglected party primaries for local officials?

Here are some reasons to “think local” about elections if you care about racism, with evidence taken from five recent Johnson County elections.

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Iowa’s collective bargaining law, one year later

Randy Richardson has previously written about the consequences of Iowa collective bargaining changes here, here, and here. -promoted by desmoinesdem

Teachers in West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Kentucky have walked out of classrooms and shut schools across their states in protest of poor funding and attacks on pensions. Arizona teachers have joined the protests after years of underfunding schools in that state. In Iowa the new collective bargaining law has been in effect for a little over a year and many teachers are just now realizing the impact of the dramatic changes brought about by the legislation.

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IA-01: Abby Finkenauer out-raised Rod Blum

The latest fundraising numbers from Iowa’s first Congressional district confirm what was already apparent: Representative Rod Blum is among the country’s most vulnerable U.S. House incumbents, and Abby Finkenauer will be the prohibitive favorite in the June 5 Democratic primary.

Follow me after the jump for highlights from the first-quarter Federal Election Commission filings for Blum and his four challengers.

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A close look at a proposed Iowa constitutional amendment

Marty Ryan is a nearly retired lobbyist after 27 Iowa legislative sessions. -promoted by desmoinesdem

Lawmakers have introduced a glut of proposed amendments to Iowa’s Constitution in the legislature this year. So far, only two have survived. House Joint Resolution 2009 would guarantee the right to bear arms. Both chambers would have to pass identical language during the Eighty-Eighth General Assembly (2019-2020) in order to put that amendment on the November 2020 ballot for Iowans to approve or disapprove.

The other proposal is Senate Joint Resolution 2006, which would change the procedure for who succeeds the governor in case of death, resignation, impeachment, or inability to carry out the duties of governor. It also redefines the procedure for accomplishing that transition.

Reading the legalese of the legislative document will have you bored to death, confused, or excited to solve it like a New York Times Sunday Crossword Puzzle.

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