WASHINGTON, DC – Today, US Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statement in support of Senate and House Democrats’ newly-introduced Justice in Policing Act:
“As people have continued taking to the streets peacefully demanding the equal and just treatment of Black people in this country, I’ve been horrified by the violence I’ve seen carried out in the name of public safety. I’ve been talking to people all over Washington state about how we begin working to address our country’s legacy of racism and anti-Blackness, and I know the path toward solutions and healing cannot be paved by the same violence that got us here.
“This violence echoes the police brutality that unjustly ended George Floyd’s life, and is yet another distressing example of how Black lives for so long in this country have not mattered. I believe strongly that George Floyd mattered, as do the named and unnamed countless Black people and other people of color whose lives have also been lost to police violence as well as our nation’s deep-seated racism. That’s why I am proud to join Sens. Harris and Booker, as well as the Congressional Black Caucus and other leaders in the House, in introducing the Justice in Policing Act today, which is a meaningful first step Congress can take on the federal level to reform and better track policing, as well as ensure citizens can seek justice and law enforcement officers are held accountable for misconduct. Every elected official who’s seen the news in the last two weeks – Democrat or Republican – should be able to get behind this bill and send it to the President’s desk without delay.
“It is beyond time for all of us, especially elected leaders like me, to listen. Going forward, I want those fighting for justice across the country to know that I am clear that the conversation does not stop here – far from it. This is only the beginning of the action we must take in Congress, and as a nation, to reset our moral compass and address the racism at the roots of our laws and policies, our systems and institutions, and our communities, and I am committed to the work ahead.”
The Justice in Policing Act is new legislation released today from Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Corey Booker (D-NJ), that Sen. Murray is a cosponsor of, which would begin to address police brutality with a number of reforms, including creating a national use of force standard and encouraging independent investigations into police misconduct.
Last week, Sen. Murray also cosponsored the Police Training and Independent Review Act, which would incentivize training for law enforcement officials on fair and impartial policing, as well as best practices for working with members of the community who are disabled, and encourage independent, impartial investigations into law enforcement officials’ use of deadly force.
On Friday, May 29, Sen. Murray issued a statement calling for federal investigations into the recent killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery – all unarmed Black people – and on June 4, Sen. Murray called for an independent investigation into the killing of Manuel Ellis, an unarmed Black man killed by police in Tacoma. In addition to the Justice in Policing Act, Sen. Murray is exploring what additional options may be possible at the federal level to help address the challenge of police brutality, as well as the country’s underlying racial issues.
Courtesy of Sen. Patty Murray