WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) released the following statement after the House passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act:
“America is experiencing a moment of profound pain and sadness as we grieve for George Floyd and countless others killed by police brutality and racial injustice. George Floyd was killed one month ago today and since then, Americans from every walk of life across the country have been protesting and demanding action and change. Systemic racism continues to permeate all corners of our country’s institutions, burdening so many Black Americans and other communities of color. Today we honor the lives of all killed by police brutality with real change.
“The Justice in Policing Act is a bold step to enact comprehensive reforms to curb police brutality and end racial profiling. It provides accountability and transparency to fundamentally change the culture of law enforcement. While this bill is an essential step, our work is far from finished. This is but one step in the much larger process of ensuring justice and equality for all. I will continue to work towards the dramatic changes required in all aspects of our society to end systemic racism and excessive police force in our country.
“This bill would ban police chokeholds and no-knock warrants and hold police accountable by ending qualified immunity for law enforcement. It would also establish a national standard for the operation of police departments, mandate data collection on police encounters, reprogram existing funds to invest in transformative community-based policing programs, and streamline federal law to prosecute excessive force and establish independent prosecutors for police investigations.
“We must reimagine public safety in an equitable way to empower our communities. This bill supports critical programs to change the culture of law enforcement and reinvests in our communities by establishing public safety innovation grants for community-based organizations, local commissions, and task forces.
“I stand proudly with my colleagues on the Congressional Black Caucus who introduced the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and will continue to work together to advance this transformative legislation. However, there is still much more work to be done. Hate and racism have no place in our country – I will continue to do everything in my power to fight for racial justice and end police brutality.”