June 9, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON - Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) joined Congressional Black Caucus Chair Karen Bass (D-CA), House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler (D-N), Senators Corey Booker (D-NJ) and Kamala Harris (D-CA), and over 100 Members of Congress in introducing the Justice in Policing Act of 2020. The bill will take key steps to achieve structural change to combat police brutality and racial injustice in the United States.
"The cruelty of George Floyd's murder at the hands of Minneapolis police officers sent shockwaves through the United States. The video footage laid bare the grievous problems with policing in America, and how institutional racism can have dire consequences for Black Americans.
"The massive protests we've seen in response to George Floyd's murder and repeated police brutality against Black Americans represent a seismic cultural shift in real time. Millions of Americans of all backgrounds and races are waking up to the realities of being Black in America and are demanding change. Congressional Democrats are listening. The Justice in Policing Act of 2020 seeks to address some of the systematic problems with policing in America and I'm pleased to join so many of my colleagues in introducing these historic reforms. Dismantling entrenched racism will not happen overnight, but together we can start on a path towards a more just future."

Background on 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-grade equipment to state and local law enforcement.
  • Mandates the use of dashboard cameras and body cameras for federal offices 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 on 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 to 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 Taskforce 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.