I’m writing today to give you an update on the progress Congress has made to help us combat the systemic racism too many Black Americans have experienced. On Thursday, the Justice in Policing Act of 2020 passed the House with bipartisan support.
It’s past time to end unjust force, stop profiling, and hold police accountable. The bill bans chokeholds and no-knock warrants. It ensures that state and local law enforcement use body cameras. It also establishes a National Police Misconduct Registry to prevent problematic officers from being rehired. We can never replace the lives we have lost, but we can work together to ensure a more just society for every American. The Justice in Policing Act of 2020: • Prohibits federal, state, and local law enforcement from racial, religious and discriminatory profiling, and mandates training on racial, religious, and discriminatory profiling for all law enforcement. • Bans chokeholds, carotid holds, and no-knock warrants at the federal level and limits the transfer of military equipment to state and local law enforcement. • Mandates the use of dashboard cameras and body cameras for federal officers and requires state and local law enforcement to use existing federal funds to ensure the use of police body cameras. • Establishes a National Police Misconduct Registry to prevent problematic officers who are fired or leave an agency from moving to another jurisdiction without any accountability. • Amends federal criminal statute from “willfulness” to a “recklessness” standard to successfully identify and prosecute police misconduct. • Reforms qualified immunity so that individuals are not barred from recovering damages when police violate their constitutional rights. • Establishes public safety innovation grants for community-based organizations to create local commissions and task forces to help communities to re-imagine and develop concrete, just and equitable public safety approaches. • Creates law enforcement development and training programs to develop best practices and requires the creation of law enforcement accreditation standard recommendations based on President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. • Requires state and local law enforcement agencies to report use of force data, disaggregated by race, sex, disability, religion, age. • Improves the use of pattern and practice investigations at the federal level by granting the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division subpoena power and creates a grant program for state attorneys general to develop authority to conduct independent investigations into problematic police departments. • Establishes a Department of Justice task force to coordinate the investigation, prosecution and enforcement efforts of federal, state and local governments in cases related to law enforcement misconduct. It’s past time to reform the criminal justice system and ensure it operates fairly for all Americans. It is my hope that this bill will bring us closer to equality for all. As always, I want to hear from you. Be sure to like my page on Facebook and follow me on Twitter for all the latest updates. Sincerely,