Leading civil rights organizations released the following joint statement after bipartisan negotiations around the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act were ended:
“It is absolutely unacceptable that more than a year after George Floyd was killed and millions took to the streets worldwide to demand an end to police brutality and the systemic criminalization of Black and Brown communities, congressional leaders failed to deliver meaningful legislation that would begin to address this nation’s longstanding history of violent, discriminatory policing. The determination and commitment of Senator Cory Booker and Congresswoman Karen Bass to work across the aisle to reach a consensus on this critical civil rights legislation are much appreciated.
“In the 2020 election, voters came out in record numbers to support candidates who promised meaningful police accountability. We urge leaders at all levels of government, especially the 117th Congress and the Biden administration, to find pathways to advance policy measures that will hold law enforcement accountable for misconduct and transform policing practices and policies. We will continue to fight and advocate for legislation worthy of George Floyd’s name. That must include measures to end qualified immunity; prohibit racial profiling; strengthen the ability of the Department of Justice to bring criminal civil rights actions against officers; create a national registry of police misconduct complaints; end the transfer of military-grade equipment to state and local law enforcement; and restrict funds from law enforcement agencies that do not prohibit the use of chokeholds and other restrictive maneuvers.
“To meet this moment, we demand transformative change that will keep our families and communities safe and end the systemic racism that permeates our criminal legal system.”
This statement was signed by the following organizations:
Wade Henderson, interim president and CEO, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Damon Hewitt, president and executive director, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
Derrick Johnson, president and CEO, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF)
Reverend Al Sharpton, president and founder, National Action Network
Melanie Campbell, president and CEO, The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, The Black Women’s Roundtable
Johnetta Betsch Cole, national chair and president, National Council of Negro Women
Marc H. Morial, president and CEO, National Urban League
The Lawyers’ Committee is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to enlist the private bar’s leadership and resources in combating racial discrimination and the resulting inequality of opportunity – work that continues to be vital today. www.LawyersCommittee.org