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HR 7120 - George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020 - National Key Vote


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Title: George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to pass a bill that requires increased accountability for law enforcement misconduct, increases transparency and data collection, and prohibits discriminatory policing practices.



  • Defines “deadly force” as force which a reasonable person would consider likely to cause death or serious bodily harm, including (Sec. 2):

    • The discharge of a firearm;

    • A maneuver that restricts blood or oxygen flow to the brain, including chokeholds, strangleholds, neck restraints, neckholds, and carotid artery restraints; and

    • Multiple discharges of an electronic control weapon.

  • Defines “use of force” as (Sec. 2):

    • The use of a firearm, electronic control weapon, explosive device, chemical agent, baton, impact projectile, blunt instrument, hand, fist, foot, canine, or vehicle against an individual;

    • The use of a weapon, including a personal body weapon, chemical agent, impact weapon, extended range impact weapon, sonic weapon, sensory weapon, conducted energy device, or firearm, against an individual; or

    • Any intentional pointing of a firearm at an individual.

  • Defines “less lethal force” as any degree of force that is not likely to cause death or serious bodily injury (Sec. 2).

  • Prohibits the following from use as defense or immunity in any action brought against a local law enforcement officer (Sec. 102):

    • The defendant was acting in good faith, or that the defendant believed that their conduct was lawful at the time; or 

    • The rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws were not clearly established at the time of their deprivation by the defendant, or that the defendant could not reasonably have been expected to know whether their conduct was lawful.

  • Authorizes the Attorney General to award grants to states to assist in conducting pattern and practice investigations (Sec. 103).

  • Authorizes the Attorney General to award grants to eligible states and Indian tribes to assist in implementing an independent investigation of law enforcement statute (Sec. 104).

  • Requires the Attorney General to perform an initial analysis of existing accreditation standards and methodology developed by law enforcement accreditation organizations, including national, state, regional, and tribal accreditation organizations (Sec. 113).

  • Requires the Attorney General to adopt policies and procedures to partner with law enforcement associations, labor organizations, community based organizations, and professional civilian oversight organizations to (Sec. 113):

    • Continue the development of further accreditation standards that will result in greater community accountability of law enforcement agencies and an increased focus on policing with a guardian mentality; and

    • Encourage the pursuit of accreditation of federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies by certified law enforcement accreditation organizations.

  • Authorizes the Attorney General to make grants to community based organizations to study and implement (Sec. 114):

    • Effective management, training, recruiting, hiring, and oversight standards and programs to promote effective community and problem solving strategies for law enforcement agencies; or

    • Effective strategies and solutions to public safety, including strategies that do not rely on federal and local law enforcement agency responses.

  • Requires the Attorney General to conduct a nationwide study of the prevalence and effect of any law, rule, or procedure that allows a law enforcement officer to delay the response to questions posed by a local internal affair officer, or review board on the investigative integrity and prosecution of law enforcement misconduct (Sec. 115).

  • Requires the Attorney General, no later than 2 years after the enactment of this act, to submit to Congress a report containing the results of the data collected from the study highlighted above (Sec. 115).

  • Establishes the Task Force on Law Enforcement Oversight within the Department of Justice, to consult with professional law enforcement associations, labor organizations, and community based organizations to coordinate the process of the detection and referral of complaints regarding incidents of alleged law enforcement misconduct (Sec. 117).

  • Requires each federal, state, tribal, and local law enforcement agency to provide a breakdown of the numbers of incidents to the Attorney General of the following practices by race, ethnicity, age, and gender of the officers of the agency and of members of the public (Sec. 118):

    • Traffic violation stops;

    • Pedestrian stops;

    • Frisk and body searches; and

    • Instances where law enforcement officers used deadly force.

  • Requires the Attorney General, no later than 180 days after the enactment of this act, to establish a National Police Misconduct Registry to be compiled and maintained by the Department of Justice, and to include (Sec. 201):

    • Each complaint filed against a law enforcement officer;

    • Discipline records, including whether use of force or racial profiling was involved;

    • Termination records and the reason for each termination;

    • Records of certification in accordance with section 202;

    • Records of lawsuits against law enforcement officers and settlements of such lawsuits; and

    • Instances where a law enforcement officer resigns or retires while under active investigation related to the use of force. 

  • Requires the Attorney General to make the Registry available to the public on an internet website of the Attorney General (Sec. 201).

  • Defines “racial profiling” as the practice of a law enforcement agent or agency relying, to any degree, on actual or perceived race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation in selecting which individual to subject to routing or spontaneous investigatory activities or in deciding upon the scope and substance of law enforcement activity following the initial investigatory procedure, except when there is trustworthy information, relevant to the locality and timeframe, that links a person with a particular characteristic described in this paragraph to an identified criminal incident or scheme (Sec. 302).

  • Prohibits any law enforcement agent or law enforcement agency from engaging in racial profiling (Sec. 311).

  • Requires federal law enforcement agencies to maintain adequate policies and procedures designed to eliminate racial profiling that include (Sec. 321):

    • A prohibition on racial profiling;

    • Training on racial profiling issues as part of federal law enforcement training;

    • The collection of data in accordance with the required regulations;

    • Procedures for receiving, investigating, and responding meaningfully to complaints alleging racial profiling by law enforcement agents; and

    • Any other policies and procedures the Attorney General determines to be necessary to eliminate racial profiling by federal law enforcement agencies.

  • Requires the Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics to analyze the data on all routine and spontaneous investigatory activities for any statistically significant disparities, and to prepare a report for Congress and the public (Sec. 341 & 342).

  • Requires the Attorney General, no later than 2 years after the enactment of this act, and annually thereafter, to submit to Congress a report on racial profiling by law enforcement agencies (Sec. 351).

  • Defines “no-knock warrant” as a warrant that allows a law enforcement officer to enter a property without requiring the law enforcement officer to announce the presence of the law enforcement officer or the intention of the law enforcement officer to enter the property (Sec. 362).

  • Prohibits the issuance of a federal no-knock warrant in a drug case (Sec. 362).

  • Defines “chokehold or carotid hold” as the application of any pressure to the throat or windpipe, the use of maneuvers that restrict blood or oxygen flow to the brain, or carotid artery restraints that prevent or hinder breathing or reduce intake of air of an individual (Sec. 363).

  • Prohibits a state or unity of local government from receiving funds under the Byrne grant program of the COPS grant program for a fiscal year if, on the day before the first day of the fiscal year, the state or unit of local government does not have in effect a law that prohibits law enforcement officers in the state or unit of local government from using a chokehold or carotid hold (Sec. 363).

  • Prohibits a law enforcement officer from using any less lethal force unless (Sec. 364):

    • The form of less lethal force used is necessary and proportional in order to effectuate an arrest of a person who the officer has probable cause to believe has committed a criminal offense; and

    • Reasonable alternatives to the use of the form of less lethal force have been exhausted.

  • Prohibits a federal law enforcement officer from using deadly force against a person unless (Sec. 364):

    • The form of deadly force used is necessary, as a last resort, to prevent imminent and serious bodily injury or death to the officer or another person;

    • The use of the form of deadly force creates no substantial risk of injury to a third person; and

    • Reasonable alternatives to the use of the form of deadly force have been exhausted.

  • Requires a federal law enforcement officer, when feasible, and prior to using force against a person, to identify themselves as federal law enforcement officer, and issue a verbal warning, including the request that the person surrender to the officer, and the notification that the officer will use force if the person resists arrest or flees (Sec. 364).

  • Requires the Attorney General to provide training to federal law enforcement officers on interacting with (Sec. 364):

    • Pregnant individuals;

    • Children and youth under 21 years of age;

    • Elderly persons;

    • Persons with mental, behavioral, or physical disabilities or impairments;

    • Persons experiencing perceptual or cognitive impairments due to use of alcohol, narcotics, hallucinogens, or other drugs;

    • Persons suffering from a serious medical condition; and

    • Persons with limited English proficiency.

  • Establishes rules and regulations for the process whereby federal, tribal, state, and local law enforcement request and receive equipment from the Department of Defense (Sec. 365).

  • Prohibits the Secretary from transferring to federal, tribal, state, or local law enforcement agencies the following (Sec. 365):

    • Firearms, ammunition, bayonets, grenade launchers, grenades (including stun and flash-bang), and explosives;

    • Vehicles, except for passenger automobiles and bucket trucks;

    • Drones;

    • Controlled aircraft that are combat configured or combat coded, or have no established commercial flight application;

    • Silencers;

    • Long-range acoustic devices; and

    • Items in the federal supply class of banned items.

  • Requires federal law enforcement officers to wear body cameras (Sec. 372).

  • Requires the video and audio recording functions of the body camera to be activated whenever a Federal law enforcement officer is responding to a call for service or at the initiation of any other law enforcement or investigative stop between an officer and a member of the public (Sec. 372).

  • Requires body camera video footage to be retained by law enforcement agencies for at least 6 months after the date recorded (Sec. 372).

  • Specifies that if any federal law enforcement officer, or any employee or agent of a federal law enforcement agency fails to adhere to the recording or retention requirements, intentionally interferes with a body camera’s ability to accurately capture video footage, or otherwise manipulates the video footage during or after its operation (Sec. 372):

    • Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against the individual;

    • A rebuttable evidentiary presumption will be adopted in favor of a criminal defendant who reasonably asserts that exculpatory evidence was destroyed or not captured; and

    • A rebuttable evidentiary presumption will be adopted on behalf of a civil plaintiff suing the Government, a federal law enforcement agency, or a federal law enforcement officer for damages based on misconduct who reasonably asserts that evidence supporting their claim was destroyed or not captured.

  • Requires each federal law enforcement agency to install in-car video camera recording equipment capable of making audio recordings in all patrol vehicles (Sec. 373).

  • Requires a federal law enforcement officer to begin recording with the in-car video camera for an enforcement or investigative stop and to continue until the enforcement action has been completed (Sec. 373).

  • Requires recordings made on an in-car video camera recording medium to be retained for a storage period of at least 90 days (Sec. 373).

  • Prohibits any camera or recording device from being equipped with facial recognition technology (Sec. 374).

  • Requires the Comptroller General of the United States, no later than one year after the enactment of this act, to conduct a study on Federal law enforcement officer training, vehicle pursuits, use of force, and interaction with citizens, and to submit a report on such study to Congress (Sec. 375).

  • Authorizes an individual to file a complaint with a law enforcement agency relating to the improper use of body-worn cameras (Sec. 3051).

  • Requires the Director to establish and maintain a body-worn camera training toolkit for law enforcement agencies, academia, and other relevant entities (Sec. 3052).

  • Specifies that whoever, acting under color of law, knowingly engages in a sexual act with an individual, including an individual under arrest, in detention, or otherwise in custody of a federal law enforcement officer, will be fined, imprisoned no more than 15 years, or both (Sec. 402).