Everyone in North Carolina is talking about the abortion bill, which Gov. Roy Cooper very publicly vetoed last week and which survived through a veto override by the House on Tuesday evening. Sure, there’s some drama in these proceedings, but anyone who hoped for a defector from the GOP orthodoxy was living in an alternate reality. The die for this one, we’re afraid, had long been cast.

Meanwhile no one is talking about Giglio, wandering cops and how the NC Legislature is undoing one of the small victories of 2020’s Black Lives Matter movement.

“Giglio” is a legal term applied to a police officer who cannot be called to testify in court due to, in official language, “untrustworthiness.” Prosecutors across the state have Giglio lists of cops they cannot or will not call to the stand. Until 2021, those letters remained private, but a criminal justice reform bill passed that year made Giglio letters public record. In its first full year of tallying untrustworthy cops, the state DOJ and NC Sheriff’s standards and training division reported that 15 cops were officially deemed untrustworthy in 2022. Five of them are still working in law enforcement.

But a new bill aims to stop this transparency just as it’s getting going.

HB704 exists solely to repeal just that one provision of the reform act of 2021, and to destroy any records already compiled by the law enforcement groups. Proponents say that it gives offending officers access to due process after they have been besmirched.

But that’s not what the law says.

The law as it’s written simply repeals the reporting requirement from both the police and sheriff’s associations to make Giglio letters public.

It’s already passed the House, with bipartisan support from Triad reps Ashton Clemmons (D-Guilford), Jeff Zenger (R-Forsyth) and House Whip Jon Hardister (R-Guilford). It’s already passed its first reading in the Senate and will probably make its way to the governor’s desk, where the former prosecutor will likely affix his signature rather than get into another prolonged veto battle that he will surely lose.

Like the abortion bill, this one is surely going to be another loss for the people of North Carolina, whose wishes become more irrelevant to our elected officials by the day.

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