(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/26/2020) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed the passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act by the US House of Representatives. While no one congressional reform package can ever fully address the systemic problem of police killings, violence, and profiling targeting Black Americans and other minority communities, CAIR views the Justice in Policing Act as a good first step.
Last night, one month after the murder of George Floyd by four police officers in Minneapolis, Minn., the House passed the Justice in Policing Act by a vote of 236 to 181. If implemented, the Act would adopt a host of police reforms, including:
- The PEACE Act, which changes the federal standard for the use of force by federal officers to require that force be used only when necessary to prevent imminent death or serious bodily injury
- A ban on police chokeholds and other harmful tactics that result in asphyxiation, which resulted in the death of George Floyd
- A ban on no knock warrants in drug cases, which resulted in the death of Breonna Taylor
- A national police misconduct registry to ensure police officers cannot avoid accountability by changing departments and requiring state and local law enforcement agencies to report use-of-force incidents to the DOJ
- A change of U.S. code 18, section 242 to better enable prosecutors to successfully hold law enforcement accountable for the deprivation of civil rights and civil liberties
- Some limitations on qualified immunity
- Some limitations on transfer of military equipment
- The PRIDE Act, which creates new grants to report to the FBI and DOJ on police officer-related shootings and use-of-force incidents
- The Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act, which mandates a DOJ review of and issuance of recommendations on police accreditation standards
- A requirement that federal law enforcement officers to wear body-worn cameras
- The Police CAMERA Act, which authorize a grant program to assist State and local law enforcement agencies in purchasing body-worn cameras and securely storing and maintaining recorded data for law enforcement officers
- A strengthening of DOJ Civil Rights Division’s Pattern or Practice Investigations to reform serious patterns and practices of excessive force, biased policing and other unconstitutional practices by law enforcement
- A grant program that would allow state attorneys general to create an independent process to investigate misconduct or excessive use of force
To commemorate this legislative achievement and honor the memory of George Floyd and all victims of police violence, CAIR yesterday raised a Black Lives Matter banner at its DC headquarters which sits a block away from the Capitol and the congressional office buildings.
“CAIR calls on Congress to stand with the brave Black Lives Matter protestors risking their lives to combat the systemic racism inherent in our country’s police force,” said Robert S. McCaw, Director of CAIR’s Government Affairs Department. “While there is still much work to be done to fully realize the vision of the Black Lives Matter movement, we’re encouraged by the swift action taken by the US House to address police violence. Now it is time for the Senate to act.”
Video: CAIR Marks Anniversary of George Floyd’s Killing with Unveiling of Black Lives Matter Banner
The Senate must also vote to pass the Justice in Policing Act before it can be adopted into law. Senate Republicans, however, have introduced the Justice Act, an alternative bill which does little to reform police practices at the federal level. On Wednesday, the Justice Act failed a procedural vote in the Senate. CAIR urges all Americans to contact their Senators and demand that the Senate adopts the Justice in Policing House bill and disregards the Justice Act.
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.
CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com; CAIR Director of Government Affairs Department Robert S. McCaw, 202-999-8292, firstname.lastname@example.org