Friday | June 19, 2020

JUSTICE Act Reaches 47 Cosponsors, Video Explainer Released

WASHINGTON – Following his introduction of the JUSTICE Act last Wednesday, U.S. Senator Tim Scott released a video in which he explains the contents of the bill.

“Black men are 2.5 times more likely than white men to be killed by the police,” Senator Scott said in the video. “That number has to come down.

“George Floyd, Walter Scott, and Breonna Taylor should not be dead. The JUSTICE Act will help to ensure that that list does not grow longer.”

The full video is provided below.

justice vid

Click the image to view the full video

The JUSTICE Act is now cosponsored by 47 U.S. Senators: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senators Cornyn (R-TX), Graham (R-SC), Capito (R-WV), Sasse (R-NE), Lankford (R-OK), Alexander (R-TN), McSally (R-AZ), Tillis (R-NC), Braun (R-IN), Roberts (R-KS), Burr (R-NC), Cramer (R-ND), Rubio (R-FL), Thune (R-SD), Wicker (R-MS), Daines (R-MT), Blunt (R-MO), Inhofe (R-OK), Hoeven (R-ND), Collins (M-ME), Crapo (R-ID), Ernst (R-IA), Fischer (R-NE), Young (R-IN), Boozman (R-AR), Romney (R-UT), Risch (R-ID), Grassley (R-IA), Portman (R-OH), Gardner (R-CO), Enzi (R-WY), Cotton (R-AR), Shelby (R-AL), Loeffler (R-GA), Rounds (R-SD), Kennedy (R-LA), Barrasso (R-WY), Perdue (R-GA), Blackburn (R-TN), Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Cassidy (R-LA), Johnson (R-WI), Moran (R-KS), Cruz (R-TX), Sullivan (R-AK), and Murkowski (R-AK).

The full text of the JUSTICE Act is available here, and a section by section analysis can be found here. A summary is below.

Law Enforcement Reform

  • The JUSTICE Act strengthens the training methods and tactics throughout law enforcement jurisdictions, especially regarding de-escalation of force and the duty to intervene, providing law enforcement with new funding to do so, and will also end the practice of utilizing chokeholds
  • Additionally, the bill will reform hiring practices by providing more resources to ensure the makeup of police departments more closely matches the communities they serve
  • The JUSTICE Act also ensures when a candidate is interviewed, the department looking to hire will have access to their prior disciplinary records
  • Too often, after a tragic incident, we have learned the offending officer had a disciplinary past in another jurisdiction of which their current employer was unaware

Accountability

  • Studies show that when body cameras are properly used violent encounters decrease significantly
  • The JUSTICE Act will put more body cameras on the streets, and ensure that departments are both using the cameras and storing their data properly
  • JUSTICE also requires a report establishing best practices for the hiring, firing, suspension, and discipline of law enforcement officers

Transparency

  • Currently, only about 40 percent of police officers from jurisdictions nationwide report to the FBI after an incident where an officer has discharged his or her weapon or used force
  • The bill will require full reporting in these two areas
  • There is also very little data as to when, where and why no knock warrants are used, and the JUSTICE Act will require reporting in this area as well

Additional Steps

  • The JUSTICE Act will finally make lynching a federal crime
  • It also creates two commissions to study and offer solutions to a broader range of challenges facing black men and boys, and the criminal justice system as a whole

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