What is the Justice in Policing Act 2020?
In response to the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many more Black Americans who have been subjected to police misconduct, Congressional Democrats have unveiled the Justice in Policing Act. The bill proposes a series of police reforms, including banning the use of chokeholds, defining lynching as a federal hate crime, and renouncing qualified immunity for police officers. Congressional lawmakers are hoping that the nationwide protests and demonstrations will yield legislative action. The bill is divided into a series of sections that outline new protocols police departments would be required to follow.
Section 1: Police Accountability
The first section of the Justice in Policing Act outlines new provisions for police accountability. The bill would require states to create accreditation requirements that police officers must meet to get hired. It also seeks to disavow the immunity doctrine, which prevents people from recovering damages when their constitutional rights have been violated by a law enforcement official. The first section also outlines rules that would require states to conduct independent investigations when there is suspected misconduct and to collect data on the racial distribution of drug charges.
Section 2: Policing Transparency
In the second section of the bill, lawmakers outlined progressive protocols that would increase transparency in police departments nationwide. The bill would create a federal database of all law enforcement officers that would include their misconduct complaints and work history. Under the bill, states would be required to report incidents where any degree of force is used against a civilian to the Justice Department.
Section 3: Improving Police Training and Implementing a New Standard of Force
In the third section of the bill, lawmakers outlined policies that would improve and expand on police training. The law would require police departments to include racial and discriminatory profiling training as part of their curriculum.
In this section, lawmakers also outlined new rules that would ban the use of chokeholds and change the standard for “use of force.” Currently, law enforcement officials are allowed to use force when there is reasonable suspicion that the civilian has a weapon. The bill outlines a new standard that would only allow force when it is necessary to prevent death or serious injuries. Additionally, the third section describes new protocols police departments would be legally required to follow, such as using body and dashboard cameras at all times.
Section 4: Defining Lynching as a Hate Crime
In the fourth section of the bill, lawmakers define lynching as a federal hate crime. Additionally, they outlined new rules that would make conspiring to violate existing hate crime laws a federal crime.
Who is Leading the Effort to Enact the Justice in Policing Act?
Senator Cory Booker and House Representative Karen Bass are leading the effort to pass the Justice in Policing Act. Additionally, Senator Kamala Harris and other Democrats on the Judiciary Committee are also working to ensure the legislation gets passed. The bill has been co-sponsored by over 200 representatives and 36 senators.
Contact a Skilled Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you have been the victim of police brutality or had your constitutional rights violated by law enforcement officials, contact a skilled criminal defense lawyer. At The Umansky Law Firm, we have dedicated our law practice to representing people who are in a fight for their life—usually against a much larger adversary. We work closely with our clients through every step of the legal process. Our dedication to success coupled with our effective communication allows us to build strong relationships with our clients.
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