June 08, 2020

Wyden Co-sponsors Justice in Policing Act of 2020

Urgently needed legislation is supported by 166 Representatives, 35 Senators

Washington, DC – U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden today co-sponsored legislation that would hold police accountable, change the culture of law enforcement and build trust between law enforcement and our communities in Oregon and nationwide.

Wyden said he supports the Justice in Policing Act of 2020 introduced by U.S. Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-CA), Congressional Black Caucus Chair Karen Bass (D-CA), U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) because it’s bold and much-needed reform.

This bill is a comprehensive blueprint for reforming our country's broken policing system, holding law enforcement accountable and enhancing transparency,” Wyden said. “The Justice in Policing Act of 2020 takes a vital first step toward accountability, and I am all in with pressing forward to achieve this legislation’s urgently needed re-focus of resources and policies.”

The Justice in Policing Act of 2020 would achieve the following:

  • Prohibit 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.
  • Ban 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.
  • Mandate 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.
  • Establish a National Police Misconduct Registry to prevent problematic officers who are fired or leave on agency from moving to another jurisdiction without any accountability.
  • Amend federal criminal statute from “willfulness” to a “recklessness” standard to successfully identify and prosecute police misconduct.
  • Reform qualified immunity so that individuals are not barred from recovering damages when police violate their constitutional rights.
  • Establish 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.
  • Create 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.
  • Require state and local law enforcement agencies to report use of force data, disaggregated by race, sex, disability, religion, age.
  • Improve 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.
  • Establish 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.

The Justice in Policing Act of 2020 has the support of a broad coalition of civil rights organizations including: Demand Progress, Lawyers' Committee For Civil Rights Under Law, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, National Action Network, National African American Clergy Network, 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.

Full text of the legislation is here.

A section-by-section summary of the Justice in Policing Act of 2020 is here.

A fact sheet on the Justice in Policing Act of 2020 is here.