LWV Applauds House Passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021
WASHINGTON – Today the CEO of the League of Women Voters Virginia Kase issued the following statement in support of HR 1280, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021, which passed in the U.S. House of Representatives last night:
“This bill provides the necessary first step towards fully addressing systemic constitutional violations by law enforcement officers, and we are pleased to see the US House prioritize this reform this Congress. As we’ve seen and data shows us, Black people and communities of color continue to face abusive, often violent treatment at the hands of law enforcement, which too often ends in their death. These systemic injustices will not change unless greater measures for police accountability are taken. The Justice in Policing Act of 2021 will increase accountability and create a safer, more equitable justice system.
"The bill proposes significant law enforcement accountability measures that are supported by the League and over 500 civil rights and justice organizations. These include measures to ban chokeholds like the one that killed George Floyd, no-knock warrants in drug cases, like the one that killed Breonna Taylor, and racial profiling, which has led to the death and wrongful imprisonment of many Black people. The bill also increases the standards for use of force from 'reasonable' to 'necessary,' requiring that law enforcement use physical force only after multiple de-escalation attempts.
“In addition to violence prevention, the bill will transform how we handle the aftermath of police brutality by creating a police misconduct registry and making it easier to prosecute officers for misconduct and/or use of force.
“This is not a perfect bill, but it is an important step toward building a more equitable justice system. It falls short of our goals for ending qualified immunity, preventing quick-knock raids, and ensuring that individuals are able to demand accountability when officers violate their constitutional rights. The League of Women Voters will continue to promote these provisions as we work with Congress to support the Justice in Policing Act of 2021.
“We look forward to working alongside our partners in the civil rights community as we take this important first step in eliminating police brutality.”