This legislative ask is designed to be shared with your members of Congress and their staff.
We urge every member of Congress to take swift action in response to ongoing racist police killings and other violence against Black people across our country. Although much of the work to address police violence needs to be done at the local and state level, federal legislation is also urgently needed.
Co-sponsor and pass the meaningful reforms included in the Justice in Policing Act (H.R. 1280)
In early March, the House took a good first step by passing the Justice in Policing Act (H.R. 1280). This bold, transformative legislation will assist law enforcement in demilitarizing policing, changing the culture of policing, raising the standards of the profession, and holding officers accountable. Yet, while we celebrate this victory, the bill’s fate in the Senate is uncertain.
Black communities disproportionately suffer the effects of systemic racism in policing—from over-policing, police brutality, misconduct, and harassment to the impunity in which officers operate in taking the lives of Black people.
We urge the Senate to now pass the specific, meaningful reforms included in the Justice in Policing Act. We also urge members of the House to explore other legislative mechanisms to ensure that the provisions of the Justice in Policing Act become law in the first half of 2021. The key provisions would:
- Ban chokeholds and no-knock warrants. Condition law enforcement funding for state and local governments on banning both chokeholds and no-knock warrants.
- Limit the transfer of military-grade equipment (1033 Program) to state and local law enforcement.
- Raise the use of force standard to prevent police officers from using lethal force unless all non-lethal methods have been exhausted. Require the use of de-escalation techniques.
- Reform qualified immunity, a legal provision which shields law enforcement from certain lawsuits.