For Immediate Release
Justice in Policing Act Passed in House a Step Towards Meaningful Reform
WASHINGTON - Erika Maye, deputy senior director of criminal justice and democracy campaigns at Color Of Change, issued this statement following the passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in the House of Representatives:
“Last night, the House of Representatives took a small step in the long march towards meaningful police reform by voting to enact the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, H.R. 1280. First passed by the House in 2020 just weeks after George Floyd was killed by police, the bill aims to end many of the most egregious practices by federal law enforcement including chokeholds, no-knock warrants, while reforming qualified immunity. The bill also takes steps to combat racial profiling and establish new protections against police misconduct.
“Yet, the Justice in Policing Act’s surface-level improvements do not address the deeply rooted racism and violence inherent in the American policing system. The bill continues the misguided logic that more police equals more safety and better protections of human rights. By giving hundreds of millions of dollars to police departments for hiring, additional equipment, and training fundamentally ignores community’s calls for public safety that prioritizes housing, health care, and good jobs.
“The opportunities for better oversight of policing are also flawed, as Civilian Complaint Review Boards will not necessarily have the authority to fire or discipline officers and judges will be given too much discretion to deny liability claims in qualified immunity cases. Crucially, the bill does not prevent violent practices or increase oversight of the police departments that have the greatest day-to-day impact on Black communities—state and local law enforcement. Without additional provisions that prioritize community needs over police budgets, the harm inflicted on Black people will continue unabated.
“Last night’s mostly party-line vote is a likely preview of the Senate’s vote in the coming weeks which needs 60 votes to overcome the racist filibuster. Senate Democrats have the power to push this forward, along with other promised bills to advance racial justice, but only by removing the filibuster and returning the Senate to majority rule. Without reforming the filibuster, even these insufficient reforms have no chance of being signed into law, and police violence will continue against Black communities. The filibuster must go and congress must continue its efforts to ensure safety and fairness for all people.”
This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.
Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.
Please select a donation method:
Color Of Change is the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. We help people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us. As a national online force driven by over one million members, we move decision-makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America.