Youngkin on First Veto: Standing up for Police Not Targeting Them Will Improve Best Practices

FILE - Republican Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin speaks to the media after a transitio
AP Photo/Steve Helber, File

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin (R) has issued his first veto, rejecting a Democrat-sponsored bill that would have established a “new politically-appointed independent policing auditor” selected by elected members of Arlington County’s governing board.

“The best way to ensure that any bad actors within law enforcement are held accountable is to stand up for law enforcement, not tear them down or subject them to politically-motivated inquiries,” Youngkin said in a statement.

“The politically-appointed auditor could be given the full powers of Arlington’s law enforcement civilian oversight body to make binding disciplinary determinations, including termination and involuntary restitution,” the press release announcing the veto says. “Under the current law, a policing auditor would be hired by and report to Arlington’s County Manager.”

“The independent policing auditor shall serve at the pleasure of the governing body,” the bill states.

“Investing in a single politically-appointed individual the power of judge, jury, and executioner without any input from law-enforcement officers or delineated qualifications for such individual constitutes an undue burden for those who protect and serve the community,” Youngkin said.

The sponsor of the bill, Democrat State Delegate Patrick Hope, said in an Associated Press (AP) report that the governor was making a “misguided political statement.”

WTOP reported on the reaction from the Arlington County Board.

“The Arlington community has created a Community Oversight Board ordinance informed by national best practices and empowered to work with an Independent Policing Auditor to conduct concurrent yet independent investigations with law enforcement,” County Board Chair Katie Cristol said in a statement.

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