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Police reform bill a significant step in right direction as public demands action

Montgomery, Alabama -- Today, members of Congress unveiled a new police reform bill — The Justice in Policing Act of 2020 —  that would ban chokeholds like the one that killed George Floyd, end the use of no-knock warrants in drug cases, make lynching a federal crime, create a national misconduct registy for police and limit qualified immunity for police officers.

The following is a statement from Lisa Graybill, deputy legal director for criminal justice reform at SPLC Action.

“Our nation is in crisis. The killings of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Sean Reed, and Breonna Taylor and so many before them have shown that our policing is infected with pervasive, systemic racism and a lack of accountability for police officers. The Justice in Policing Act is an overdue step in the right direction.

“Banning chokeholds, ending the use of no-knock warrants in drug cases, limiting qualified immunity for police officers and creating a national registry that ensures abusive officers cannot simply switch departments but instead are held accountable  are all desperately needed reforms. Making lynching a federal crime is something that should have happened a century ago.  These reforms are essential steps in addressing rampant abuse that has gone unchecked and destroyed families and communities around the country.  

“This bill is not perfect and will not solve all the problems with the police.. But it is a significant step in the right direction. For too long our nation has allowed systemic racism to endure. For too long we have allowed the police to brutalize Black, brown, and indigenous people. The movement that has flourished across the country in recent days is rooted in longstanding demands for real change. Congress must heed the call and act act now to end police brutality and help ensure that we live up the ideals of our nation.”