Congressmember Karen Bass has combatted police violence and abuse in Los Angeles for most of her adult life. In Congress, she authored the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act -- the first-ever bold, comprehensive approach to hold police accountable, change the culture of law enforcement, empower our communities, and build trust between law enforcement and our communities by addressing systemic racism and bias to help save lives.
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“Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd in broad daylight and acted with impunity. The sentencing today represents progress but there is still a long way to go. I hope it brings some measure of peace to the Floyd family, though there will never be complete closure and he will always be missed.
According to recent reports, this year, more than 50 people suffering from mental illness have been shot and killed by the police.
“Police brutality must be stopped,” said Rep. Bass. “Congress should do all it can to ensure that the communities that are supposed to be served and protected are not being brutalized and abused. I’m thankful to my colleagues, Congressman Morelle and Congressman Jeffries, for allowing me to join them in this effort."
Read more information about the bill here.
“Thirty years ago, Rodney King was brutally beaten by police. The video of the assault shocked the world, but not the jury, who let every single police officer responsible roam free.
“Thirty years ago today, Rodney King was viciously beaten by police officers in Los Angeles. It would be the first time the world would witness what African Americans had been organizing, marching and trying to change for more than 100 years. Personally, I was hopeful that once everyone saw what happens in Black communities, policing in America would change. I was certain no one would deny what they saw with their own eyes and the officers involved would be held accountable for their actions.
“I was wrong.
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The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021 is a bold, comprehensive approach to hold police accountable, change the culture of law enforcement, empower our communities, and build trust between law enforcement and our communities by addressing systemic racism and bias to help save lives. Last Congress, the George Floyd Justice In Policing Act passed by a bipartisan vote of 236 to 181. Every House Democrat and three Republicans voted in support of the bill, including Representatives Fred Upton (R-MI), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Will Hurd (R-TX).
“Just as the world watched the killing of George Floyd on video, the world watched the shooting of Jacob Blake on video. Officers are rarely charged when they kill or injure Black people because the bar for prosecuting officers is too high. A victim has to prove that the officer intended to harm or kill the person involved in the incident. The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act lowers the bar of prosecution to recklessness.
The letter was also signed by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Congressman David Cicelline (D-RI).
The Members wrote, in part: