U.S. Representative Rodney Davis (R‑Ill) today co-sponsored the Just and Unifying Solutions to Invigorate Communities Everywhere (JUSTICE) Act. The goal of the JUSTICE Act is to increase police transparency, accountability and performance so law enforcement can better serve their communities.
“George Floyd’s tragic murder showed our country just how much work we have to do to restore trust and ensure equal justice under the law,” said Rep. Davis. “That’s why the JUSTICE Act is so critically needed. This legislation increases police transparency while providing law enforcement with the resources and training they need to equitably protect the communities they serve. We must unite together to stop this violence so our nation can properly honor George Floyd and work to ensure others do not meet the same terrible end.”
This bill is the House companion to legislation introduced by U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R‑SC). The lead sponsor in the House is U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber (R‑MN). Rep. Stauber was a police officer for two decades prior to his time in the House.
“In order to truly make progress on public safety, and unite this nation, it is imperative to rebuild trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve,” said Rep. Stauber. “The JUSTICE Act will do just that by implementing community policing best practices, creating transparency when it comes to reporting incidents with law enforcement, and holding officers and departments alike accountable for their actions. Delivering lasting reform should not be a partisan issue, and I am looking forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle on this important issue. Our nation is calling for change, and I am confident that we will rise to the occasion.”
What the JUSTICE Act does to improve public safety:
Improving law enforcement transparency through additional reporting
Annual reporting on use of force
Reporting on no-knock warrants
Ensuring law enforcement accountability
Requires law enforcement agencies to maintain and share disciplinary records for officer hiring considerations
Provides $500 million for state and local law enforcement agencies to equip all officers with body cameras, and store and retain footage.
Increases criminal penalties for any individual who knowingly and willfully falsifies a police report
Makes it unlawful for a federal law enforcement officer to engage in sexual acts while acting under color of law with an individual who is under arrest, in detention, or in custody
Improving training for law enforcement officers
Bans the use of chokeholds for all situations other than those in which deadly force is authorized
Directs the Attorney General to develop training curricula regarding the duty of a law enforcement officer to intervene when another law enforcement officer is engaged in excessive force and provides $500 million to pay for costs associated with the training
Requires DOJ to develop and provide training on de-escalation techniques and law enforcement interaction with mentally ill individuals and provides an additional $225 million in grant funding for the training
Reauthorizes the Department of Justice’s COPS on the Beat and Byrne JAG community policing grant programs, whose authorization of appropriations lapsed in 2009 and 2012, respectively
Provisions addressing historical racism and racial inequities
Makes lynching a federal crime
Establishes a bipartisan Commission that will issue a wide-ranging report on conditions affecting black men and boys, including education, health care, financial status, and the criminal justice system
Click here for the full text of the bill.
Click here for a summary of the bill.
Click here for a section-by-section analysis of the bill.