Cárdenas Statement on Passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act
WASHINGTON, DC – Last night, the United States House of Representatives passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021 – a bold, comprehensive approach to hold police accountable, change the culture of law enforcement, empower our communities, and build trust between law enforcement and our communities by addressing systemic racism and bias to help save lives. The bill was introduced by Representative Karen Bass (CA-37) and Congressman Tony Cárdenas (CA-29) is an original cosponsor.
“For far too long, systemic racism has plagued our policing system.” said Congressman Cárdenas. “Last summer, following the murder of George Floyd, hundreds of thousands took to the streets to demand accountability and transparency in our system of policing. The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act is the change that will create a system that holds everyone equally accountable. We need law enforcement to protect and serve all our communities and all people with the equal respect and dignity that we are all entitled. It’s time that we end the constant cycle of murder that leaves too many beautiful Americans dead and beautiful communities in pain. I’m proud to support the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. This vicious cycle must end now.”
Last Congress, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act passed by a bipartisan vote of 236 to 181. Every House Democrat and three Republicans voted in support of the bill.
The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021:
- Prohibits federal, state, and local law enforcement from racial, religious and discriminatory profiling, and mandates training on racial, religious, and discriminatory profiling for all law enforcement.
- Bans chokeholds, carotid holds and no-knock warrants at the federal level and limits the transfer of military-grade equipment to state and local law enforcement.
- Mandates the use of dashboard cameras and body cameras for federal offices and requires state and local law enforcement to use existing federal funds to ensure the use of police body cameras.
- Establishes a National Police Misconduct Registry to prevent problematic officers who are fired or leave on agency from moving to another jurisdiction without any accountability.
- Amends federal criminal statute from “willfulness” to a “recklessness” standard to successfully identify and prosecute police misconduct.
- Reforms qualified immunity so that individuals are not barred from recovering damages when police violate their constitutional rights.
- Establishes public safety innovation grants for community-based organizations to create local commissions and task forces to help communities to re-imagine and develop concrete, just and equitable public safety approaches.
- Creates law enforcement development and training programs to develop best practices and requires the creation of law enforcement accreditation standard recommendations based on President Obama’s Taskforce on 21st Century policing.
- Requires state and local law enforcement agencies to report use of force data, disaggregated by race, sex, disability, religion, age.
- Improves the use of pattern and practice investigations at the federal level by granting the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division subpoena power and creates a grant program for state attorneys general to develop authority to conduct independent investigations into problematic police departments.
- Establishes a Department of Justice task force to coordinate the investigation, prosecution and enforcement efforts of federal, state and local governments in cases related to law enforcement misconduct.
The George Floyd Justice In Policing Act carries the support of leading civil rights and social justice groups such as the NAACP, National Action Network, Urban League and The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. Last Congress, the bill was endorsed by Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner; Samaria Rice, mother of Tamir Rice; and John Crawford, Jr., father of John Crawford III. The bill was also endorsed by leading corporations, law enforcement, major city mayors such as the Mayor of Houston and the Mayor of Los Angeles and celebrities such as Mariah Carey, Rihanna, Mary J. Blige, Lizzo, Meek Mill, Elton John, Kelly Rowland, Justin Bieber, Miguel, Billie Eilish, Shawn Mendes, Jonas Brothers, Alyssa Milano and Ariana Grande, among others.