Taking Action on Police Brutality
America is experiencing a moment of national anguish, as we grieve for those killed by police brutality and racial injustice. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery should all still be alive today. Black Americans have spent decades demanding change and despite this, we continue to see unarmed African Americans killed time and time again. Going for a jog, a walk, a drive, going bird watching, or simply being in your own home should not be a death sentence for black Americans.
In the midst of a global pandemic that is already disproportionately impacting Black and brown communities, protesters are bravely placing their health and lives at risk to make sure that this time, there is real change. My responsibility as an elected official is to translate this very real and understandable anger into policy to reimagine the culture of policing in America.
The George Floyd Justice in Policing ActThis week, led by the Congressional Black Caucus, House Democrats passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act: bold, unprecedented reforms to curb police brutality, end racial profiling and eliminate qualified immunity for law enforcement. This legislation will transform the culture of policing to address systemic racism and help save lives as it holds police accountable and increases transparency.
This sweeping legislation will take numerous key steps to achieve transformative, structural change to combat the pattern of police brutality and racial injustice, including:
Banning all chokehold;
Banning no-knock warrants in drug cases;
Ending racial, religious, and discriminatory profiling;
Eliminating the qualified immunity doctrine that is a barrier to holding police officers accountable for wrongful conduct;
Establishing a National Police Misconduct Registry to improve transparency and prevent problematic officers who are fired or leave one agency, from moving to another jurisdiction without any accountability;
Requiring mandatory body cameras and dashboard cameras;
Establishing new standards for policing and the Public Safety Innovation grants for community-based organizations to help reimagine policing in their communities; and,
Making lynching a federal hate crime.
It is long past time for a federal statute to end these practices, which have taken too many Black lives over the years. I was honored to join my colleagues in the House to pass this life-saving legislation this week. I will continue to engage with my constituents and families throughout Illinois to ensure that we take any additional steps necessary to end police brutality and safeguard the civil rights of all Americans. As we continue to advance this critical work, I will continue to insist on the truth that Black Lives Matter.
The executive order signed by President Trump last week, unfortunately, accomplishes nothing and he has continually defended the police and ignored the racial disparities in police brutality cases. Meanwhile, Senate Republicans have proposed their own bill that does not go nearly far enough. It fails to ban chokeholds or no-knock warrants and does not even begin to address qualified immunity.
While Democrats want to work together to find solutions, conservatives have made it clear that they do not want to create structural change to support and protect the lives of people of color in America.
Share Your Support
Following House passage of this bill, I am working to put pressure on the Senate and the Administration to take action, and your voice in this effort is critical.
You can continue to contact me or my staff through my website at quigley.house.gov/contact or by phone at (202) 225-4061 or (773) 267-5926.