Statement in Support of H.R. 7120, George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020 June 25, 2020
June 25, 2020
Madam Speaker, I rise in strong support of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. I am an original co-sponsor of The Justice in Policing Act which will for the first time ever under federal law:
1. establish national standard for the operation of police departments;
2. mandate data collection on police encounters;
3. reprogram existing funds to invest in transformative community-based policing programs;
4. streamline federal law to prosecute excessive force and establish independent prosecutors for police investigations;
5. make Lynching a federal crime to conspire to violate existing federal hate crime laws.
Among other specifics it will: make it easier for the federal government to successfully prosecute police misconduct cases, end racial and religious profiling, and eliminate qualified immunity for law enforcement.
The bill incentivizes the use of independent prosecutors for police misconduct investigations, helps take equipment made for war off of our streets, and requires the use of body and dashboard cameras. The legislation bans the use of choke holds and no-knock warrants the federal level and encourages states to do the same.
This bill contains no new federal funds for policing except where constitutionally-mandated for data collection and conditions access to federal grants based on a state’s willingness to adopt the transformative provisions in the bill. Instead it reprograms existing grants to law enforcement and reinvests in our communities by supporting critical community-based programs to change the culture of law enforcement and empower our communities to reimagine public safety in an equitable and just manner.
The "Executive Order" signed by President Trump recently was too little, too late. Surrounded by bellicose declarations of "law and order" in the face of persistent and on-going murder of Black men and women, especially our youth, it was nothing less than an insult and an attempt to deny the demands put forward by more than three weeks of protest and calls for real change by hundreds of thousands in more than 100 cities, towns and villages in every state of the union.
I view the Justice in Policing Act as a long overdue minimum federal action to address 400 years of terrorism against the African American community and other oppressed communities and our responsibility as Members of Congress to utilize the power of the voice of the people in streets in every corner of our nation to take decisive and meaningful steps to redress the centuries of brutalization of our people.