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McEachin co-sponsors landmark bill to reform policing in America

donald mceachinCongressman A. Donald McEachin today announced his co-sponsorship and support of the Justice in Policing Act.

Introduced by Congressional Black Caucus Chair Karen Bass (CA-37), House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler (NY-10) and Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Kamala Harris (D-CA), the comprehensive legislation addresses the police brutality crisis in America by increasing accountability and transparency between law enforcement and the communties they are sworn to protect and serve.

“The past few weeks have laid bare to the nation just how far we have to go in addressing the deeply-rooted ills of racial bias and police-sanctioned violence in our society. We have witnessed too many lives taken and federal action is long overdue to address the concerns of communities devastated by police brutality and racial profiling.” McEachin said.

“We can and must re-imagine public safety in America to make our policing systems safer for citizens and hold police officers accountable to the communities they serve, beginning with ensuring that the common-sense policies included in the Justice in Policing Act are adopted by police departments across the country. The Justice in Policing Act is the bold, transformational vision of policing that America needs to heal and repair trust with law enforcement across the country. I am pleased to co-introduce this legislation and look forward to it becoming law.”

The Justice in Policing Act of 2020

  • Prohibits federal, state, and local law enforcement from racial, religious and discriminatory profiling, and mandates training on racial, religious, and discriminatory profiling for all law enforcement;
  • Bans chokeholds and carotid holds at the federal level and conditions law enforcement funding for state and local governments banning chokeholds;
  • Bans no-knock warrants in drug cases at the federal level and conditions law enforcement funding for state and local governments banning no-knock warrants at the local and state level;
  • Limits the transfer of military-grade equipment to state and local law enforcement;
  • Mandates the use of dashboard cameras and body cameras for federal offices and requires state and local law enforcement to use existing federal funds to ensure the use of police body cameras;
  • Establishes a National Police Misconduct Registry to prevent problematic officers who are fired or leave on agency from moving to another jurisdiction without any accountability;
  • Amends federal criminal statute from “willfulness” to a “recklessness” standard to successfully identify and prosecute police misconduct;
  • Reforms qualified immunity so that individuals are not barred from recovering damages when police violate their constitutional rights;
  • Establishes public safety innovation grants for community-based organizations to create local commissions and task forces to help communities to re-imagine and develop concrete, just and equitable public safety approaches;
  • Creates law enforcement development and training programs to develop best practices and requires the creation of law enforcement accreditation standard recommendations based on President Obama’s Taskforce on 21st Century policing;
  • Requires state and local law enforcement agencies to report use of force data, disaggregated by race, sex, disability, religion, and age;
  • Improves the use of pattern and practice investigations at the federal level by granting the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division subpoena power and creates a grant program for state attorneys general to develop authority to conduct independent investigations into problematic police departments; and
  • Establishes a Department of Justice task force to coordinate the investigation, prosecution and enforcement efforts of federal, state and local governments in cases related to law enforcement misconduct.

Full text of the legislation is available here.

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