Today, Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18) joined over 160 House Democrats to introduce the Justice in Policing Act of 2020, legislation to hold police accountable, change the culture of law enforcement, and build trust between law enforcement and our communities.
"The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many others demonstrate the lack of accountability and justice when it comes to the killing of Black men and women in our country," said Rep. Eshoo. "This package of bills bans chokeholds and no-knock warrants, prohibits racial profiling, demilitarizes police departments, reforms qualified immunity, and makes incidents of police misconduct fully transparent to the public. Importantly, the legislation does not defund police departments. Rather, it requires state and local law enforcement to institute these important reforms in order to receive existing federal grant funding. The Justice in Policing Act of 2020 is a bold first step to rebuild the lost trust between police departments and the communities they serve, and help heal our country. I'm proud to be an original cosponsor of this important legislation."
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-grade 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 officers who are fired or leave on agency from moving to another jurisdiction without 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 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 Taskforce 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 incentivizes state attorneys general 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.
The Justice in Policing Act of 2020 is sponsored by Congressional Black Caucus Chair Karen Bass (D-CA) and House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). Companion legislation was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators Corey Booker (D-NJ) and Kamala Harris (D-CA).
The Justice in Policing Act of 2020 is supported by a broad coalition of civil rights organizations including: Demand Progress, the Lawyers' Committee For Civil Rights Under Law, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the National Action Network, the National African American Clergy Network, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP), the Black Millennial Convention, and the National Urban League.