TUCSON— Today, lawmakers in Washington, D.C. introduced the Justice in Policing Act after days of protests over the death of George Floyd, a Black man choked to death by a police officer while in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department.
“In the wake of violent police killings of people of color, Congress is taking the first step to bring reform, accountability, and transparency to police departments across the country,” said Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva. “This bill is a step forward toward real reform that removes the shield of immunity long faced by many police officers, empowers local police departments and community organizations to work together on community policing reforms, and stops those who violate their oath to protect the public from seeking police work elsewhere.“
The bill includes:
- Provisions for the federal governments to prosecute law enforcement officials who engage in racial profiling and excessive use of force while eliminating qualified immunity for police officers.
- Increased transparency by requiring data collection on police misconduct and establishing the first-ever national database on civilian police encounters to prevent bad actors from moving to different police departments.
- No new money to police departments. Instead, it establishes public safety innovation grants from community organizations focused on developing alternative policing practices that better serve the community.
- The removal of military-grade equipment from law enforcement, chokehold bans at the federal level, and requires the use of body and dashboard cameras.
“I am inspired by those who have raised their voices and called out the systemic racism and injustice ingrained in our law enforcement system after the tragic death of George Floyd and other known and unknown victims of police brutality,” continued Rep. Grijalva. “This is one step in the long road ahead of us to not only address racism in law enforcement, but having the conversations and crafting the policies to dismantle systemic racism entrenched in all of our institutions.”