U.S. Rep. Fred Upton today issued the following statement after voting to advance police reform. The U.S. House passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act by a vote of 236-181.
The National Fraternal Order of Police issued a statement of support, saying, "We were heartened to see that there were provisions in the bill that we believe that will have a positive impact on law enforcement and policing in our country." Click here to read their full statement.
Upton's statement is below:
"Today marks the one-month anniversary of George Floyd's murder in Minneapolis. Since then, the resulting protests have demanded not to just dismiss racism but dismantle it. Systemic racism is all too real for people of color in nearly every facet of our society, including the criminal justice system. Those who cannot acknowledge this injustice are part of the problem. I am committed to the solutions.
This evening the U.S. House took action and voted to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. This bill is by no means perfect. The process has been far from perfect. But we can't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
The bill as it passed today will not become law but we now have an opportunity to seek common ground. I have talked with a number of law enforcement officials across my district and share their real concerns about the qualified immunity provision, which would truly hinder their ability to train and recruit good officers. This provision -- as is -- cannot and should not become law.
I would also add that calls to "defund the police' are absolutely the wrong answer. They need resources for better pay, training, and equipment, like body cameras, to help them do their jobs and keep our communities safe. At the same time, we need to look at ways to enhance critical community services like mental health, youth development, housing, and education.
We cannot allow politics to consume this moment. We cannot retreat to our corners, send tweets attacking each other, and let yet another historic opportunity for meaningful change pass without action. I look forward to this process continuing and urge my colleagues in both parties to come to the table in good faith so we can send a bipartisan bill to the President's desk."