Gallagher Joins Landmark Effort on Police Reform
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) today joined Rep. Pete Stauber (R-MN) in introducing the Just and Unifying Solutions to Invigorate Communities Everywhere (JUSTICE) Act. The bill, which was also introduced in the Senate by Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) yesterday, makes important changes to help law enforcement agencies become better prepared and equipped to protect the communities they serve. Click HERE for bill text.
"Americans are justifiably outraged about what happened to George Floyd. As lawmakers, we must channel that anger into meaningful reform that keeps communities safe without punishing good cops," said Rep. Gallagher. "The JUSTICE Act not only make substantive reforms to police departments, but also promotes greater accountability and transparency to help restore trust in our law enforcement officers. I'm grateful for the leadership of Rep. Stauber, a retired police lieutenant and dedicated public servant, and hope my colleagues join this serious effort to improve police departments across the country."
“As a former law enforcement officer, I was devastated watching the video of George Floyd dying at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. The cruel and inhumane actions perpetrated by those officers go against everything I stood for during my time in law enforcement. George Floyd’s life mattered, and the best way to honor his memory is by enacting change within police departments nationwide. That’s why I am proud to introduce the JUSTICE Act, which offers pragmatic solutions to improve policing," said Rep. Stauber. “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. 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.”
The JUSTICE Act focuses on police reform, accountability, and transparency, and would specifically:
- Improve law enforcement transparency through additional reporting including annual reporting on the use of force and reporting on no-knock warrants
- Ensure law enforcement agencies and officers are held accountable by developing accessible disciplinary records systems
- Provide $500 million for state and local law enforcement agencies to equip all officers with body cameras, improve the use of body cameras, and store and retain footage
- Ban the use of chokeholds except for in situations where deadly force is authorized
- Improve officer training by directing the Attorney General to develop training curricula related to the duty to intervene and de-escalation and appropriates funds to pay for costs associated with new training requirements
- Include the Justice for Victims of Lynching Act, making lynching a federal crime.
- Create a bipartisan commission on the social status of black men and boys to issue a report to Congress on conditions affecting black men and boys, including education, health care, financial status and the criminal justice system