Amid nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd of at the hands of law enforcement, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion by Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Janice Hahn to support proposed federal legislation aimed at combatting police misconduct, excessive force, and racial bias in policing.
In their motion, Supervisors Ridley-Thomas and Hahn directed Los Angeles County’s legislative advocates in Washington, D.C. to support the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020 – HR. 7120 (Bass-Nadler) and S. 3912 (Booker-Harris) – in order to strengthen national standards and support state and local governments in their efforts to reform policing.
“I believe that lawless acts of state violence should never be normalized, nor should discrimination or racial profiling of any kind be tolerated,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said. “We have an urgent need to pursue comprehensive public safety reform. This act of Congress will strengthen much-needed national standards and support us at the state and local level.”
The nation is currently embroiled in a public reckoning around policing practices after several high-profile, fatal applications of force against unarmed civilians. The death of George Floyd last month in Minneapolis revived scrutiny regarding the appropriate use of force by law enforcement officers, sparking protests and demonstrations in cities and counties throughout the U.S., including Los Angeles, as well as internationally.
Recognizing the consequences of inaction, advocates, community leaders, elected officials, and other stakeholders have been accelerating efforts to reform policing and ensure it is more humane, protects constitutional and human rights, ensures accountability, and enhances public safety.
On June 8, 2020, U.S. Representatives Karen Bass and Jerrold Nadler, and U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, introduced the Justice in Policing Act of 2020 (H.R. 7120 and S. 3912, respectively). On June 17, 2020, the legislation was renamed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020 at the request of the Floyd family.
The legislation seeks comprehensive reform aimed at holding police accountable, reforming the qualified immunity doctrine, changing the culture of law enforcement, and empowering communities. The bill would also ban chokeholds and create a misconduct registry, among other changes to national policy.
A vote is expected, possibly as early as this week, in the U.S. House of Representatives.