Ruppersberger Cosponsors “Justice in Policing Act” to Provide Meaningful Law Enforcement Reform
(Washington, DC) – Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02) last week pledged his support to the Justice in Policing Act of 2020, a comprehensive police reform bill that aims to hold rogue officers accountable, change the culture of law enforcement and rebuild trust between police and the communities they are sworn to protect.
“It’s been five years since the death of Freddie Gray here in Baltimore, and still yet, Black Americans across the country continue to die at the hands of bad cops,” Congressman Ruppersberger said. “All Americans should feel protected by police. The path to ending systemic racism in our country must include swift, substantive police reform. The Justice in Policing Act is a major step toward this goal.”\
The landmark Justice in Policing Act will, for the first time in history, take a comprehensive approach to ending police brutality. The bill fixes federal laws so police officers are held accountable for egregious misconduct and abuses are better tracked and reported. It also improves police methods and training to prevent these injustices from happening in the first place.
Specifically, the Justice in Policing Act of 2020:
- Removes barriers to prosecuting police misconduct and recovering damages from officers who have violated civilians’ rights, including ending qualified immunity by law enforcement;
- De-militarizes the police by limiting the transfer of military weaponry to state and local police departments;
- Combats police brutality by requiring body and dashboard cameras, banning chokeholds, ending the use of no-knock warrants in drug cases and enacting steps to end racial profiling;
- Steps up pressure on the Justice Department to address systemic racial discrimination by law enforcement;
- Makes lynching a federal hate crime, as the House did in passing H.R. 35 earlier this year;
- Establishes a National Police Misconduct Registry to prevent problematic officers who are fired or leave one agency from moving to another jurisdiction without any accountability.
Congressman Ruppersberger has already signed on as a cosponsor to additional legislation that will require the appointment of an independent prosecutor in cases where police use deadly force, give judges full discretion to waive draconian mandatory minimum sentences and shorten mandatory minimums for nonviolent offenses. He is also supporting legislation that will require law enforcement to report data on traffic stops, pedestrian stops, frisk and body searches, and the use of deadly force. He also supports designated funding for police sensitivity and de-escalation training.
“I can think of few challenges more important and pervasive than the systemic racism that has existed in our country for far too long, only recently highlighted by the death of George Floyd,” Congressman Ruppersberger said. “I stand with, and will fight for, all who are committed to ending racial injustice in our country once and for all.”