Today, Congressional leaders unveiled House Legislation to help end the brutal and tragic killings of our citizens of color. In response, Congresswoman Moore released the following statement:
“Our country is mourning for the loss of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many others. For years, communities of color have shouldered the burden of police brutality and suffered tremendous loss. Throughout my life, I have seen these killings unfold, and it has felt like history is repeating itself.
Communities are urging for meaningful change, and many have channeled their pain towards mobilizing and organizing for real justice.
As elected officials, I am proud that we are directing our outrage into legislative action. The legislation unveiled today marks the first step in helping to stop these needless tragedies.
I am pleased with the introduction of this legislation, which includes provisions to reform qualified immunity so that individuals are not entirely barred from recovering damages when police violate their constitutional rights, strengthen the U.S. Department of Justice’s ability to conduct pattern and practice investigations into police misconduct, require state and local law enforcement agencies report use of force data, disaggregated by race, sex, disability, religion, age, ban no-knock warrants in drug cases, ban chokeholds and carotid holds, limit the transfer of military-grade equipment to state and local law enforcement, and change the standard for evaluating whether use of force by police was justified from whether the force was reasonable to whether the force was necessary, among other changes.
This is a good starting point but the work is not done. I will continue to fight for the inclusion of provisions to strengthen de-escalation training and training on the use of non-lethal force or police officers. For years, I have pushed for passage of my legislation, (the Preventing Tragedies Between Police and Communities Act of 2019) to increase police training on the use of de-escalation and other nonlethal measures to avoid conflict.
According to research from the Police Executive Research Forum, police officers on average, receive 8 hours of de-escalation training and 58 hours on how to use a gun. My legislation will incentivize mandatory de-escalation training for state and local law enforcement agencies that receive certain federal funds in order to improve trust between police officers and communities of color and ultimately, save lives. The bill would also require those agencies that receive federal funds to put in place policies that place an affirmative duty on a law enforcement officer of that State or unit of local government, whenever possible, to employ de-escalation techniques in which they have been trained or loss funding.
I believe that our country is at a pivotal moment. We must use this opportunity to enact strong policies that can stop these needless killings and restore trust and faith between our communities and law enforcement. But there are more critical measures we must take, like providing access to broad-based community training on effective de-escalation and conflict resolution techniques. The legislation unveiled today is a good first step and I will continue building upon this work with my colleagues to answer the cries from our communities with meaningful action.”