Rep. Chu Statement on Historic Democratic Police Reform Legislation
Pasadena, CA – Today, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) stands with House Democrats, who, led by Congressional Black Caucus Chair Karen Bass and House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, introduced the Justice in Policing Act of 2020. This bill combats police brutality by banning chokeholds and requiring body and dashboard cameras. It removes the barriers to prosecuting police misconduct from officers who have violated civilians' rights and ends qualified immunity by law enforcement. It de-militarizes the police by limiting the transfer of military weaponry to state and local police departments. It also improves transparency by mandating reports on the use of force by state and local law enforcement agencies. As an original cosponsor of this act, Rep. Chu issued the following statement:
“Over the past week, Americans across the country – fed up with the lack of accountability for police violence – took to the streets to demand change. And we have heard them. Today’s bill, the Justice in Policing Act, ensures more accountability and transparency in our police, both of which are necessary for restoring faith in police and building community relationships.
“For too long, police who were guilty of misconduct had legal immunity from families seeking justice. This is the opposite of how the justice system they’ve sworn to uphold should work. Victims and families deserve justice, and the police, of all institutions, should not be exempt. But even without immunity, justice can still be impossible to achieve thanks to protections that allow police to hide reports of misconduct or abuse. If we want the people to have confidence that the police are working for us, then we need to have transparency and accountability.
“This bill doesn’t just ensure justice for those who have been wronged, it helps to prevent the abuse and murders we’ve seen in the first place by banning racial profiling, ending chokeholds, and limiting the transfer of military equipment that turned police into soldiers. Congress has an important role to play in setting rigorous federal standards and in ensuring that federal funds are used to meet those standards. That is what this bill helps us to do. But there is no single federal policy that will resolve decades of systemic racism and lethal force used by police against Black communities. That’s why we also need allies in state and local government to step up, implement reforms, and realign priorities. There’s a true crisis in American law enforcement right now. Through these reforms, we can not only restore confidence, but ensure policing actually works to protect communities of color and all Americans.”