Recently introduced in Congress, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act would be an important step forward in stopping police brutality and gun violence.
Since this country's founding, our law enforcement system has repeatedly failed, oppressed, and killed Black people. That's why George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many others who didn't make the headlines are dead today. We can—and must—do everything in our power to make sure it ends. This bill is long overdue, and while the federal government only has so much control over how state and city police govern, this legislation is a critical step toward finally creating an America where Black lives matter and Black people receive justice.
Tell your U.S. Representative to Pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act >>
As your constituent, I urge you to support H.R. 7120/S. 3912, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which is a crucial piece of legislation that would begin to address police brutality and is critical for combating racism and white supremacy in this country. Some of the bill's key provisions include:
- Improving the use of force standard for federal officers so that force may be used only when absolutely necessary, banning the use of chokeholds and other neck restraints, and requiring officers to intervene when other officers use excessive force;
- Empowering state officials to investigate and intervene when local police have a pattern or practice of abuse and discrimination under federal law, making it easier to prosecute and sue law enforcement who injure and kill civilians, and improving data on which agencies and which officers have a troubling history;
- Pressuring state and local officials to update their laws and policies, by threatening to withhold federal grants if our in-state leaders continue to sit on their hands;
- Limiting military-style equipment in local hands, working to ensure officers have body-worn cameras, and increasing training on de-escalation, implicit bias, and procedural justice; and
- Adding a new lynching offense to the criminal code, targeting white supremacist violence.
Even as we mourn recent victims of police violence—George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many others who haven't received public attention—we urge you to take this critical moment as a moment for progress. We have a long way to travel to reform abusive police practices and fight back systemic racism, and this legislation would be an important step.