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Ilhan Omar Criminal Justice Reform Bills Offer 'Systemic Solutions to Systemic Problems'

"If we are to change this pattern of violent racism, we need to fundamentally restructure our criminal justice system."

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) listens to questions during a press conference outside the Midtown Global Market on May 30, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota after the death of George Floyd. (Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Rep. Ilhan Omar on Wednesday announced her intention to introduce a legislative package aimed at overhauling the nation's criminal justice system as the nationwide uprising sparked by the murder of George Floyd by four Minneapolis police officers continues.

"If we are to change this pattern of violent racism, we need to fundamentally restructure our criminal justice system—and our treatment of those advocating for their rights," Omar tweeted

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The legislation would provide overarching support for the victims of longstanding and ongoing police violence and are intended to offer solutions for the deep-seated institutional racism that dominates U.S. policing. The suite also includes a sharp rebuke of President Donald Trump's threats to use the Insurrection Act against protesters.

The package consists of four bills:

  • The National Police Misuse of Force Investigation Board Act; co-led by Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Calif.), forming a federal commission to investigate police killings around the nation.
  • The Bill to Criminalize Police Violence Against Protesters, which allows for the charging of police officers who attack protesters to be charged with a federal crime.
  • The Amending the Insurrection Act; co-led by Reps. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) and Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), preventing the president from deploying the U.S. military against protesters.
  • The Federal Relief Fund, providing funding for communities rebuilding after social and economic disasters.

"We need systemic solutions to systemic problems and those closest to the pain must be closest to the solutions," said Omar.

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