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Pallone Holds Discussion with Community Leaders on the Urgent Need to End Racial Injustice

June 3, 2020
Press Release

Long Branch, NJ – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) today held a discussion with community leaders to discuss the urgent need to end racial injustice in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. Pallone outlined legislation in Congress that would help stop the disproportionate use of force, reform the criminal justice system, and end racial disparities in the response to the coronavirus pandemic. Pallone is working with colleagues in Congress to move a legislative package that addresses police abuse, criminal justice, and prison reform.

“The outrage we’ve seen in response to the murder of George Floyd rightfully stems from the frustration and anger at the way people of color are killed by law enforcement officers. We also have a President who has failed to show any moral leadership during a time of national crisis. We can and must do better as a country. I have long supported legislation in the House of Representatives to address inequality and the systemic failings in our criminal justice system that prevent the United States from living up to the values it was founded upon,” Congressman Pallone said. “We’ve also seen deep racial disparities in the response to the coronavirus pandemic. As Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, I’ve called on the Trump Administration to work with Congress so we can close the gaps in our health care system. I would like to thank Reggie Johnson and Reverend Saunders who joined me today for this important discussion.”

Pallone supports legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives that would seek to end police brutality and reform the criminal justice system, including:

Resolution Condemning Police Brutality that calls on Congress to condemn police brutality, racial profiling and take urgent legislative action to save lives. Sponsors: Ayanna Pressley/Ilhan Omar/Karen Bass/Barbara Lee

End Racial Profiling Act that would prohibit federal, state, and local law enforcement from targeting a person based on actual or perceived race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation without trustworthy and relevant information that connects a person to a crime. Sponsor: Sheila Jackson Lee

Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act that provides incentives for police organizations to voluntarily adopt performance-based standards that would seek to address incidents of deadly force or misconduct through training protocols and ensure proper investigation whenever they occur. Sponsors: Jason Crow/Sheila Jackson Lee/Ilhan Omar

Commission on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys Act that establishes a bipartisan commission housed within the US Commission on Civil Rights’ office that is tasked with examining the social disparities disproportionately affecting black men and boys. The commission will propose measures to alleviate and remedy the underlying causes of these adverse social conditions. Sponsor: Frederica Wilson

Police Training and Independent Review Act that would make full federal funding conditional on officers receiving sensitivity training sessions for racial, religious, and other biases. It would also require states to adopt laws requiring independent investigations and prosecutions of law enforcement officers in cases where bias was possibly the cause for the use of deadly force. Sponsor: William Lacy Clay

“It’s clear we must change our criminal justice system so that it operates fairly and in accordance with our country’s values. Law enforcement officers must have the trust and respect of the communities they represent. We need a police force that not only understands the neighborhoods they protect, but also reflects the communities that rely on them,” said Reggie Johnson of the NAACP Metuchen-Edison Branch and Agent at the Bias Crime Unit of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office. “I thank Congressman Pallone for his work at the federal level.”

“We have allowed the criminal justice system in the United States to suppress people of color. We must take a good look at the racism in our country and work together to create a system that is fair and just. For far too long, the law enforcement system has criminalized individuals who struggle with drug dependency instead of providing the care they need to recover. Our criminal justice system must prosecute crimes fairly and help rehabilitate individuals so they can return to society successfully. I would like to thank Congressman Pallone who has been a leader in making our society better,” said Reverend Dr. Kenneth L. Saunders, Piscataway Civil Rights Commission.