(Washington, D.C.) – Nearly a year after nationwide protests occurred calling for an end to police brutality against Black and Brown communities and demanding greater accountability in every sector of law enforcement, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act has passed the U.S. House of Representatives. The following is a statement from Damon Hewitt, acting president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law:
“Addressing our nation’s violent history of discriminatory policing requires passing legislation that advances systemic reforms and meaningful accountability. With the House of Representatives’ passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act (JPA), we are one step closer to beginning the work of transforming the culture of law enforcement and creating a stronger, more equitable justice system. The JPA ends qualified immunity that unduly limits civil liability for even the worst violations of civil rights, and reforms laws that make it nearly impossible to successfully prosecute officers who recklessly injure and needlessly take lives. This law would also usher in greater transparency by creating a national database on police misconduct so that officers who violate the law cannot evade accountability by simply moving to a new jurisdiction, requires demographic data collection to demonstrate how various groups are targeted by the police and bans ambush-style no-knock warrants that have led to countless errors and senseless deaths.
“Time and time again we have seen many of our nation’s sworn law enforcement officers engage in misconduct and even violence against Black Americans and other communities of color, followed by public condemnation and outrage, but little else. We urge the Senate to swiftly take up and pass this bill, heeding the millions of Americans who joined together to protest for months across the country last year, collectively asking for accountability, transparency and justice.”
About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of voting rights, criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and hate crimes. For more information, please visit https://lawyerscommittee.org.