Justice in Policing Act passed by House of Representatives

Congressman Alan Lowenthal, representing California’s 47th District.

The Justice in Policing Act was passed Thursday night by the House of Representatives, now it must move to the Senate to be approved.

The new bill would outlaw such tactics by police by banning chokeholds carotid holds at the federal level and creates conditions for State and local governments who ban chokeholds.

The bill will also require deadly force be used as a last resort by changing the standard from “reasonable” to “necessary.” Officers will be forced to use deadly force as a last resort and use de-escalation techniques first.

Lynching will also be considered a federal crime.

Also banned is the use of no-knock warrants, such as the one used in Breonna Taylor’s case, a Black Emt who was killed during a no-knock raid conducted by police.

Under the new bill, prosecutors will have more leeway to hold officers accountable in court. Police misconduct will also be easier to investigate, due to new federal guidelines that allow the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division to conduct independent investigations into problematic police departments.

The bill will also try to stop the militarization of police departments by limiting the transfer of military-grade equipment to police departments. Police will also be forced to purchase body cameras and dash-cams for vehicles.

Now that the bill has passed the House of Representatives it must move to the Senate to be approved.

Per a press release, Congressman Alan Lowenthal, representing California’s 47th District, which includes Signal Hill and Long Beach said:

“I was proud to join my colleagues in the House today to pass the Justice in Policing Act, historic legislation to bring much-needed reform to our policing system. I am so deeply inspired by all those who have spoken out: to demand equal treatment under the law; to affirm that Black Lives Matter; and, to demand change. But, for far too long, a lack of political will has offered no response to the voices across America who have been screaming for decades, “I can’t breathe.”

“Today, we found the will to respond by taking a major first step to end police brutality, end racial profiling, and ensure accountability from our police. The Justice in Policing Act is long overdue, but I believe that we are seeing a societal shift which demands an end to systemic racism and institutionalized inequities that have plagued the lives of Black Americans and communities of color since before the founding of our nation. The Justice in Policing Act is a major first step on that path.

“There is more to do, and the road ahead will not be easy. But we cannot turn away from this moment. It is our duty, as the Representatives of all Americans, to hear the voices of the people and to act. Once and for all, we must address the terrible legacy of our past and put an end to the systematic brutality, bigotry, and hatred.”

To read the full bill, click here.


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