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Pallone Announces Support for Justice in Policing Act of 2020

June 8, 2020
Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) today announced his support for the Justice in Policing Act of 2020 that would address police abuse, hold law enforcement accountable, improve transparency, and create structural change that safeguards every American’s right to justice. Last week, Pallone held a discussion with community leaders to discuss the urgent need to end racial injustice in the wake of the murder of George Floyd.

“It is past time for our country to face the systemic racism and discrimination African Americans have endured for generations. Congress has a moral obligation to act as we work together to end racial injustice,” Congressman Pallone said. “I have long supported legislation in the House of Representatives to address inequality and the structural failings in our criminal justice system. I’m proud to be an original co-sponsor of the Justice in Policing Act of 2020. It represents a critical step in ensuring that the United States lives up to the ideals on which it was founded.”

The Justice in Policing Act of 2020:

  • 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 equipment to state and local law enforcement.
  • Mandates the use of dashboard cameras and body cameras for federal officers 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 an 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 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 Task Force 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.

Full bill text is available here.

A section-by-section summary of the bill is available here.

A fact sheet on the bill is available here.