Washington, DC – The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) urged Congress to act swiftly on the Justice in Policing Act of 2020 (H.R. 7120).
“America’s original sin – slavery and its ongoing impacts – continue to pervade and poison our society. Policing and law enforcement are no exception,” said FCNL General Secretary Diane Randall. “The recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and others, are tragedies. These killings of Black Americans are direct outgrowths of white supremacy. We need more accountability and restraint from police.”
The Justice in Policing Act raises the police standard for “lethal use of force” to “necessary.” It bans chokeholds or other methods of restricting airways as well as moving to end religious and racial profiling. It also limits transfers of certain militarized hardware from the Pentagon to police.
It was recently introduced by Senators Cory Booker (NJ) and Kamala Harris (CA), as well as Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Karen Bass (CA). This comprehensive bill has the support of more than 65 representatives and 35 senators. FCNL strongly backs the legislation as part of its on-going efforts to reform and demilitarize the police.
“America needed police reform before 2020 when George Floyd was killed by an officer by kneeling on his neck for more than eight minutes. America needed police reform before 2014 when 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot in his yard for playing with a toy gun. And America needed police reform before 1999 when Amadou Diallo was shot 41 times for reaching for his wallet,” said José Woss, FCNL’s lead lobbyist on this issue. “In partnership with the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and more than 400 organizations, FCNL is calling on both Houses of Congress to swiftly pass meaningful police reform legislation, and for the president to sign it.”
While the House has already heard testimony and held public hearings on the Justice in Policing Act, the Senate has taken no such action. A House vote is expected by the end of the month.
To learn more, please visit www.fcnl.org.