For Immediate Release
Justice in Policing Act 'Falls Short of Meaningful Accountability'
Police violence cannot be ended by giving more money to the police.
WASHINGTON - Bend the Arc: Jewish Action released the following statement on Thursday ahead of the House of Representatives floor vote on the Justice in Policing Act:
“Although the Justice in Policing Act includes a number of necessary provisions, including a ban on the use of choke holds and no-knock warrants, and reducing the circumstances in which force can be used, it falls short of the meaningful accountability that is needed to answer to a nation rising up for racial justice after decades of inaction and failed reforms,” said Rabbi Jason Kimelman-Block, Washington Director of Bend the Arc: Jewish Action. “By failing to end qualified immunity and the 1033 program responsible for the militarization of local police departments, this legislation will not halt the unacceptable status quo of Black and brown people continuing to be targeted, harassed, and killed.”
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“Even worse, the legislation gives hundreds of millions of dollars to local police departments instead of making needed investments in communities to reduce the need for police in the first place. Police violence cannot be ended by giving more money to the police, and Congress should not throw good money after bad. In the middle of a pandemic and an economic crisis, it’s not enough to reduce the scope and size of policing—legislation should increase spending on education, housing, and health and human services that meet widely and deeply felt community needs.”
“As Jews, we are guided by Tzedek (Justice) and the principle that we are all created B’tzelem Elohim: in God’s image, and equal in the eyes of the law. It is critical that Congress and other elected officials not see the passage of this legislation—even the welcome reforms—as license to stop listening to the demands of millions of Americans fighting for an end to anti-Black, racist policies and white supremacy. We join the Movement for Black Lives in calling on state, federal, and local governments to begin reinvesting the $100 billion we spend on law enforcement each year in programs that support true public safety and build a future where we can all be connected, represented, and free.”
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