Beatty Strongly Supports Justice in Policing Act
WASHINGTON, D.C.— U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03) this week teamed up with the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Chair Karen Bass (CA-37), House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler (NY-10) as well as 163 of her Congressional colleagues and 35 Senators to introduce the Justice in Policing Act of 2020, H.R. 7120. This comprehensive, first-of-its-kind bill seeks to improve police accountability, change the culture of law enforcement, and build trust between law enforcement, communities of color, and the American people.
“We cannot bring back George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, or the countless men and women who have died or been injured senselessly by law enforcement, but we can prevent similar tragedies in the future,” Beatty said. “The Justice in Policing Act will do precisely that by guaranteeing transparency and accountability from the very people sworn to protect and serve all Americans—and at the same time ensure justice for every one of us.” She continued, “I am proud to be an original cosponsor of this bill and promise to work tirelessly to see that Congress acts on this much-needed, long overdue bill.”
If enacted into law, the Justice in Policing Act of 2020 would:
- Prohibit federal, state, and local law enforcement from racial, religious, and discriminatory profiling and mandate training on racial, religious, and discriminatory profiling for all law enforcement.
- Ban chokeholds, carotid holds, and no-knock warrants at the federal level and limit the transfer of military-grade equipment to state and local law enforcement.
- Mandate the use of dashboard cameras and body cameras for federal officers and require state and local law enforcement to use existing federal funds to ensure the use of police body cameras.
- Establish a National Police Misconduct Registry to prevent problematic officers who are fired or leave an agency from moving to another jurisdiction without any accountability.
- Amend federal criminal statute from ‘willfulness’ to a ‘recklessness’ standard to successfully identify and prosecute police misconduct.
- Create 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.
- Develop law enforcement development and training programs to institute best practices and require the creation of law enforcement accreditation standard recommendations based on President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.
- Reform qualified immunity so that individuals are not barred from recovering damages when police violate their constitutional rights.
- Require state and local law enforcement agencies to report use of force data, disaggregated by race, sex, disability, religion and age.
- Improve the use of pattern and practice investigations at the federal level by granting the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division subpoena power and create a grant program for state attorneys general to develop authority to conduct independent investigations into problematic police departments.
- Set up 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.
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