Reform Police– Don’t Defund
I fully support the police, appreciate the difficulties and sacrifices of the occupation and am grateful for the protection they provide our communities every day. I also believe that it is time for meaningful police reform in America.
Meaningful reform will require the adoption of national standards of police accreditation, a national registry of police misconduct, and the forging of permanent working relationships with mental health experts in close collaborations with our local communities and civic organizations. HR 1280 – the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act will do just that.
I strongly support the passage and adoption of H. R. 1280 the “George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021.” Jeff Van Drew voted against this bill. A full summary of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act can be found below.
I support the police and always will. Police have one of the toughest jobs imaginable and I am grateful for the service and protection they provide every day. You can support HR 1280 and still support the police – they are not mutually exclusive. I have heard police say, “Nobody hates a bad cop as much as a good cop does”. Good cops have nothing to fear from this law. This legislation makes it more difficult to be a bad cop!
In addition to Justice in Policing, we need Reform in Policing. Instead of “Defunding the Police” we need to “Reallocate Funding” for the Police. I will introduce a bill to develop national de-escalation standards. The bill will include funding for law enforcement agencies to grow their de-escalation expertise and enforce the new de-escalation standards. With de-escalation in use, difficult behavior is dealt with in the safest, most effective way possible. We have seen too many cases where police resort to the use of deadly force before employing de-escalation techniques.
According to the American Bar Association, “at least 25% of people who are shot and killed by police officers suffer from acute mental illness at the time of their death.” I believe mental health professionals need to be part of the law enforcement team. I believe 911 calls should be funneled through a regional call center where a team of health and law enforcement experts determine if the appropriate dispatch is law enforcement, social workers or both.
Summary of H. R. 1280
“This bill addresses a wide range of policies and issues regarding policing practices and law enforcement accountability. It increases accountability for law enforcement misconduct, restricts the use of certain policing practices, enhances transparency and data collection, and establishes best practices and training requirements.
The bill enhances existing enforcement mechanisms to remedy violations by law enforcement. Among other things, it does the following:
- Lowers the criminal intent standard — from willful to knowing or reckless — to convict a law enforcement officer for misconduct in a federal prosecution,
- Limits qualified immunity as a defense to liability in a private civil action against a law enforcement officer, and
- Grants administrative subpoena power to the Department of Justice (DOJ) in pattern-or-practice investigations.
It establishes a framework to prevent and remedy racial profiling by law enforcement at the federal, state, and local levels. It also limits the unnecessary use of force and restricts the use of no-knock warrants, chokeholds, and carotid holds.
The bill creates a national registry—the National Police Misconduct Registry—to compile data on complaints and records of police misconduct. It also establishes new reporting requirements, including on the use of force, officer misconduct, and routine policing practices (e.g., stops and searches).
Finally, it directs DOJ to create uniform accreditation standards for law enforcement agencies and requires law enforcement officers to complete training on racial profiling, implicit bias, and the duty to intervene when another officer uses excessive force.”