As Millions of Americans Call for Reforms, Carper Joins Harris, Booker, Democratic Colleagues to Introduce Landmark Legislation Increasing Transparency and Accountability in Policing
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As millions of Americans call for common sense reforms following the senseless murder of George Floyd, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) joined 34 of his Democratic colleagues in the Senate, led by Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) to introduce the Justice in Policing Act of 2020. Companion legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-Calif.), Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, and Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
“Last month, the country watched in horror as yet another unarmed black man, George Floyd, was murdered at the hands of law enforcement. We heard this father, brother and son cry out, ‘I can’t breathe’ before he was killed in the street. Over the last 12 days, we have seen Americans of all backgrounds, colors and creeds take to those same streets to call attention to this tragedy that is too common in our country and demand change,” said Senator Carper. “Just yesterday, I had the privilege of joining hundreds of Delawareans in Middletown who are speaking out and calling for every American to receive equal treatment under the law. Now, as elected officials, we have a sacred responsibility to not just listen to those cries, but to act with a sense of urgency.”
Carper continued, “I applaud Senators Booker and Harris, as well as our colleagues in the House, especially the leaders on the Congressional Black Caucus, for working expeditiously to craft a bill that begins to respond to these nationwide calls for reform. 233 years ago, when Delaware first ratified the Constitution, we pledged in that enduring document to form ‘a more perfect Union.’ We have never been perfect as a nation. No nation is. But each generation of Americans has been given the task of continually improving our country and working for ‘liberty and justice for all.’
“This bill is a significant step forward at the federal level to implement important reforms, but we know that our work is just beginning and that we can’t do it alone. There will be hearings in the House as soon as this week, and we have an obligation to hold similar hearings here in the Senate. I appreciate the comments and concerns that I continue to receive from Delawareans up and down our state. I also know that there are many police officers in the First State who are, and want to continue, contributing positive changes to our communities. Their insight and experience will also be critical. Throughout this legislative process, I look forward to continuing to hear from Delawareans from all walks of life – including men and women in law enforcement – to ensure that we get this right. We all have a role to play and can all be part of the solution here. Together, we can seize this moment and bring about meaningful change that can save lives.”
Along with Senators Booker, Harris and Carper, the Justice in Policing Act of 2020 is co-sponsored by Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bob Casey (D-PA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chris Murphy (D-CA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Tom Udall (D-NM), Mark Warner (D-VA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).
A section-by-section summary of the Justice in Policing Act of 2020 is available here.
A fact sheet on the Justice in Policing Act of 2020 is available here.