Democrats Introduce Police Reform Bill

Earlier this week House and Senate Democrats came together to unveil “The Justice in Police Act of 2020,” a sweeping law enforcement reform bill aimed at reducing police brutality and violence against citizens, particularly those in minority communities.  

The primary sponsors of the bill included Reps. Karen Bass (D-CA) and Jerry Nadler (D-NY); along with Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Kamala Harris (D-CA).  

“What we are witnessing is the birth of a new movement in our country with thousands coming together in every state marching to demand a change that ends police brutality, holds police officers accountable, and calls for transparency, said Bass, who is the Congressional Chair of the Black Caucus, at the Monday press conference.  

“For over 100 years, Black communities in America have sadly been marching against police abuse and calling for the police to protect and serve them as they do others,” she continued.  “Today we unveil the Justice in Policing Act, which will establish a bold transformative vision of policing in America. Never again should the world be subjected to witnessing what we saw on the streets in Minnesota with George Floyd.”

The legislation would do all of the following: 

  • Prohibits federal, state, and local law enforcement from racial, religious and discriminatory profiling, and mandates training on racial, religious, and discriminatory profiling for all law enforcement.
  • Bans chokeholds, carotid holds and no-knock warrants at the federal level and limits the transfer of military-grade equipment to state and local law enforcement.
  • Mandates the use of dashboard cameras and body cameras for federal offices and requires state and local law enforcement to use existing federal funds to ensure the use of police body cameras.
  • Establishes a National Police Misconduct Registry to prevent problematic officers who are fired or leave on agency from moving to another jurisdiction without any accountability.
  • Amends federal criminal statute from “willfulness” to a “recklessness” standard to successfully identify and prosecute police misconduct.
  • Reforms qualified immunity so that individuals are not barred from recovering damages when police violate their constitutional rights.
  • Establishes public safety innovation grants for community-based organizations to create local commissions and task forces to help communities to re-imagine and develop concrete, just and equitable public safety approaches.
  • Creates law enforcement development and training programs to develop best practices and requires the creation of law enforcement accreditation standard recommendations based on President Obama’s Taskforce on 21st Century policing.
  • Requires state and local law enforcement agencies to report use of force data, disaggregated by race, sex, disability, religion, age.
  • Improves the use of pattern and practice investigations at the federal level by granting the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division subpoena power and creates a grant program for state attorneys general to develop authority to conduct independent investigations into problematic police departments.
  • Establishes a Department of Justice task force to coordinate the investigation, prosecution and enforcement efforts of federal, state and local governments in cases related to law enforcement misconduct.

In addition to having the support of well over 130 representatives in the House and over 30 senators in the Senate, the legislation has been endorsed by various organizations including the  National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP), Black Millennial Convention, and the National Urban League, among others.  

SEE ALSO: List of the Anti-Gun U.S. Senate Candidates You Need to Vote AGAINST in 2020

Currently, no Republican in either the House or Senate has endorsed the bill.  However, CNN reports that the GOP is working on its own police reform legislation that is “in the very early stages” and members are “considering all options.”

As a gun owner and pro-2A advocate, what worries me about this bill is that it will expand the scope and power of the federal government.  Policing the police is critical to maintaining the integrity and well-being of a democracy.  I get that. But handing that job off to Big Brother may be a recipe for disaster.

From Project MKUltra to Operation Fast and Furious, there are numerous occasions throughout our history where the feds have been, shall we say, less than ethical in their dealings (We’re talking about CIA mind-control experiments and the ATF/DOJ running U.S. guns to known Mexican drug cartels. Not exactly setting the gold standard for trust in law enforcement.)

(Photo: Pew Research)

What I’m getting at is that shouldn’t the responsibility of increasing transparency and accountability of police fall to local communities? Shouldn’t they work hand-in-hand with police departments to root out the bad eggs on the force? Why does the DOJ need to get involved?

From my perspective, neighborhood cops being policed by the neighbors they serve is a much better strategy then neighborhood cops being tracked, surveilled, and investigated by DOJ operatives in Washington. I feel like once they start to answer to Big Brother they start working for Big Brother, as opposed to the citizens who actually pay their salary.

Well, those are my initial thoughts, what say you?

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About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 26 comments… add one }
  • Stan June 17, 2020, 3:21 am

    We can start by taking away the police security that guard all the congressman/congresswomen in Washington DC.

  • Bubbinator June 13, 2020, 6:02 pm

    Off the top three of the authors are already losers in the eyes of America in general and many democraps. The statistics do not support their call for reforms and everything they propose will be further hindered by the calls to defund police. It is clear from what the situation in America is now that we need more police, with much more effort directed to rooting out corrupt, Incompetent liberal officials and Politicians and bringing the tile of law back to the forefront. Pelosi and her ilk need to feel the full force of her words “No one is above the Law”!

  • Shan June 13, 2020, 2:54 am

    Yeah Reform police!! Every time I try to commit violent felonies they violate my civil rights.

  • Andrew N. June 13, 2020, 1:33 am

    First, we’ll see a lot more cops killed, followed by a lot of good cops quitting. It’s not worth their life. Then we will see a rash of bad cops as they will be the only ones willing to become cops. Good plan!

  • Dennis H June 12, 2020, 9:46 pm

    Should be handled at the state and local people only…National laws lead to national police force…And I am not sure that is good idea…

  • JR Cowboy49 June 12, 2020, 4:17 pm

    The United States is a country that is the envy of the world for many reasons. One of the main reasons people from all over the world flock to our shores is because we live under the rule of law. We have a written Constitution and a Bill of Rights that guarantee everyone rights as against the government.
    Most citizens are law-abiding. But those who aren’t, and who commit crimes, must be held accountable.
    Well-trained, properly funded police forces who follow the rules are necessary to uphold the rule of law and protect all of us. Police officers, like military personnel or other first responders, deserve our support and respect.
    I am a strong supporter of the police forces in America but believe that ALL public government employees should not have the right to unionize. This will assist the managers in eliminating troubled, under-performing, and malcontent employees who can’t or won’t conform to the policies/procedures of the department.

  • Nutbush June 12, 2020, 10:01 am

    The States and the People have had years to deal with rogue Police officers and nothing came about it…not oversight, rarely any Police correction for misconduct and most importantly the Public rarely gets any justice. You noted that, “neighborhood cops being policed by the neighbors they serve is a much better strategy then neighborhood cops being tracked, surveilled, and investigated by DOJ operatives in Washington.” Well and there lies the issue. Most cops working in urban communities aren’t living in those communities. They can’t relate and they don’t care for the people in those communities. So literally taxpayers in urban areas are paying cops to bully, brutalize and kill them. I think they’ll appreciate some DOJ oversight!

    • clifford c bailey June 12, 2020, 11:48 am

      You’re a liberal idiot. Fact since 2015 5,367 people have been killed by police. 2,416 WHITES, 1,265 BLACKS and 889 HISPANICS. You know how many were unarmed- 321. Why don’t you do their job which is very hard. Easy to sit back and judge. I stand by them and always will. I have been pulled over, questioned and obeyed what they asked, even with my firearm and had no issues.

  • Richard Schultz June 12, 2020, 8:35 am

    Looks like the Democrats want to destroy the law enforcement agencies in the USA. … Lets have a list like this that regulates Congress and how they act also. I’m still trying to figure out how Congress people retire as millionaires …. I mean hell, look at Nancy Pelosi & Chucky Schumer and how much they are worth now versus when they were first elected … AND look into what they now own, .. hell that’s a lot of stuff !!!!!

  • Dr Motown June 12, 2020, 7:17 am

    Do we have evidence that Floyd’s death was racially motivated? Seems like a lot of assumptions without any real proof, especially given the emergence of a prior personal relationship between him and Chauvin

    • Nutbush June 12, 2020, 9:54 am

      It doesn’t matter either way if it was or wasn’t racially motivated. It was a senseless and heartless killing by another Police Officer.

      • clifford c bailey June 12, 2020, 11:51 am

        Nutbush- Your comment about another police officer is appalling. Didn’t hear you get up in arms over them killing police officers. Read my previous reply and educate yourself

      • JT June 12, 2020, 12:20 pm

        Indeed it does matter greatly. In fact it’s the ONLY issue that matters. The narrative is that we need to engage in enormous social change and upheaval because Floyd’s murder is evidence of systemic racism. If there is no evidence of systemic racism, but rather a bad act by an individual police officer, there is no need to turn the country upside down. That’s why the only important question is whether Chauvin’s act was one if individual stupidity or negligence or is it further evidence of systemic racial bias. Because there is, so far, zero evidence of systemic racial bias the narrative is failing.

  • Mark A Gutsmiedl June 12, 2020, 7:03 am

    I think it rather strange how the Democrats came up with a bill and got all of these groups on board in such a very short time. I don’t believe that the federal government should be in charge iif this. The states need to do this.

    • Richard Schultz June 12, 2020, 8:40 am

      The Democrats have had these idea’s on the table for a very long time, especially from the Obama administration wanting to get passed by Congress its Anti-Police agenda. You have to remember, the Democrats want to take total Control of the USA and change it into their idea of utopia. And to do that they need to not only win elections, … they need to neuter the law enforcement of the country. …. DO NOT THRUST DEMOCRATS .. THEY ARE NOT FRIENDLY TO OUR CONSTITUTION !!!!!

      • Nutbush June 12, 2020, 10:10 am

        Outside of your hatred for democrats…what does the Constitution have to do with Police reform? I think at this point the People (and that includes you) would like to be safe in their communities…from criminals and criminals that wear a badge. In your world (and yes there are different rules for different groups) you apparently don’t see or hear about Police violence and that’s great. That means your tax dollars are being used appropriately. It means the Police can relate and respect the People they serve in your community. But not every community receives that respect and commitment from their Officers and they should! That is what Police reform will do. Because when a Police Officer is a criminal he or she doesn’t stop and ask his or her victim if they’re democrat or republican.

        • JT June 12, 2020, 12:37 pm

          What does this have to do the Constitution? Everything. Policing powers and authority under the Constitution do not reside with the federal government, but rather the states. This is why we do not have a “national police.” The jurisdiction of the FBI, for example, is limited to specific issues of federal interest, and the exercise of general police powers is not one of those. This is also why it is not within the power or authority of the President to order a National Quarantine. That is an exercise of police power that belongs to the states, usually through the governors. There is a legitimate question about whether any such legislation from congress purporting to micro-manage specific police techniques is even constitutional. The Democrats can’t have it both ways. Either the President can order a national quarantine, and correspondingly tell local police departments whether they can use a choke hold, or they cannot. The Democrats whines incessantly during the pandemic about the President trying to force the states to take certain actions yet now THEY want to do the same thing concerning the police function. Which one is it democrats? The democrats are like children, they simply want things their way regardless of logical or Constitutional consistency.

  • singleshotcajun June 12, 2020, 6:18 am

    Much of the bill is already law or policy in most state and city governments . Just like all the anti 2A laws they want are redundant as many lefties found out when they went to purchase a firearm recently. The mayor of Houston called for no more choke holds when HPD already had a policy against it for the last forty years.

  • TomD June 12, 2020, 3:07 am

    A lot of what’s in the bill is good, but it really is not a Federal concern. The bill should really mandate the equivalent of an interstate compact to achieve these goals. Passing the bill as-is will further weaken state sovereignty,

    • JT June 12, 2020, 12:44 pm

      Absolutely correct Tom. Policing is not a federal concern. That never stopped fascist totalitarian democrats from running their mouths.
      And this has nothing to do with DOJ lawsuits and consent decrees against specific police departments for systemic constitutional violations or other issues of legitimate FEDERAL interest.

  • Barry Newman June 10, 2020, 1:04 pm

    Has nothing to do with Trump has everything to do with idiot dems.

    • Blasted Cap June 12, 2020, 7:05 am

      Actually has more to do with idiot cops and idiot unions. Can’t get rid of the ones that are POS’s and the others lie for them and cover it up. The whole barrel rots quickly when the bad apples aren’t removed quickly.

      • johnj June 12, 2020, 8:17 am

        I agree. The reason the Feds need to get involved is precisely because the states and locals are incapable or unwilling to what needs to be done. “State’s Rights” is a tired old saw used all too often to justify civil rights abuse.

        • Reticent Rogue June 12, 2020, 9:50 am

          You need to rethink your strategy, Pal. As bad as local law enforcement may seem, the Feds are worse. You do not want to replace your locals with Feds. Read Article VI, Clause 2, of the Constitution. If locals screw up, they can be prosecuted under both state and federal law. Feds cannot be prosecuted under state law because of the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution. And they are rarely if ever prosecuted under Federal law. You will have literally no redress of grievances against a federal or nationalized police force. You are obviously ignorant of the fact that all state agencies are trained to federal standards and must comply with federal civil rights law. They are high profile now because the press has made it so to push for a national police. That centralizes power and shifts it to the federal government. If this happens, the KGB will soon be on your doorstep…thing about it….

          • clifford c bailey June 12, 2020, 11:54 am

            Well said

        • Gunner June 12, 2020, 10:22 am

          States rights is how you prevent another national party with an agenda…..you know, the Nazi thing. There will always be civil rights abuses in government because they are run by people. I would just assume avoid a national party that would have to be run by liberals since they are the ones pushing for control of every aspect of our lives and our country.

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