U.S. Rep. Abigail Spanberger, a former federal law enforcement officer, voted last week for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which she cosponsored to increase accountability and address systemic racism within law enforcement.
“The brutal killing of George Floyd captured, on video, the centuries of injustices perpetrated against our Black communities,” Spanberger said in a statement. “In time, we will all be judged on whether we sought to transform a status quo that has senselessly stolen the lives of countless spouses, brothers, sisters, parents, and friends. It falls on all of us to recognize our role in the renewed fight against discrimination and systemic racism.”
The legislation would ban chokeholds, eliminate long-standing biases, protect funding for community policing initiatives, reform qualified immunity and increase accountability for misconduct.
“For generations, our country has failed to live up to the promise of equal justice under law, but together, we have an opportunity in this moment to make Central Virginia a safer and more compassionate place for all,” the 7th District Democrat said.
The Act seeks to prohibit federal, state and local law enforcement from racial, religious and discriminatory profiling; create a nationwide police misconduct registry; mandate state and local law enforcement agencies to report use of force data, disaggregated by race, sex, disability, religion, and age; establish public safety innovation grants for community-based organizations to create local commissions and task forces to help communities; limit the transfer of military-grade equipment to state and local law enforcement; require state and local law enforcement to use existing federal funds to ensure the use of police body cameras, and require federal uniformed police officers to wear body cameras; create law enforcement accreditation standard recommendations and reform qualified immunity.
U.S. Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, is the act’s sponsor.