The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act is coming up for a vote in the first week of March and must pass.
The full legislative title and purpose of the act is: To hold law enforcement accountable for misconduct in court, improve transparency through data collection, and reform police training and policies.
[read the full legislative text here]
The act is needed following a never ending string of grotesque murders and abuses by police against Black citizens all across the country over past few years, decades, centuries.
Police reform is needed in large and small ways, their funding needs to be reduced, their training changed and enhanced, and the consequences for corruption, murder, abuses, lies and other malfeasance are needed as they have always been needed.
The reform is policing act gets us closer to where we need to be but does not solve the fullness of the issues. No legislation can do that nor are they designed to do that.
This act is designed to make changes that will have an immediate impact on policing and give States and municipalities frameworks for additional structural changes that can be implemented and
studied and evaluated against similar efforts from across the country.
The analysis can then be used by cities to implement other reforms and comparative data so that we have continuous improvement in policing happening all the time.
Black people want police to stop killing us and harassing us when we are minding our own business. We want to sleep, work, walk, jog, eat, talk, smoke, drink, read, study birds, and play with our kids without being harassed by police who happen to be around or who were weaponized by a white person who called them because we were busy existing.
Asking the police that WE fund to not kill us seems like reasonable request.
But in America we need to make the request and then write legislation to place laws on the books so that when we are shot and killed, kneeled on, choked to death, or beaten, we have laws that we can utilize in lawsuits against the cities and States who refuse to follow the law.
Now is a good time to call and/or write your representative to ensure they vote to pass this important legislation.
We can’t get George Floyd or the thousands of other Black women, men, and children murdered by the police back but we can start a process that will prevent the next Sandra Bland, Breonna Taylor, Tamir Rice… or all the others taken from us far too soon.
© 2021 by Myron J. Clifton
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