Washington, D.C. — Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. voted for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020 today. The historic bill (H.R. 7120) would end racial profiling in law enforcement, ban chokeholds and “no-knock” warrants, and establish a federal standard for police conduct to end police brutality, particularly against minorities. It comes after thousands of Americans have taken to the streets to protest the brutal murder of George Floyd and other African Americans from police violence in the last few months.
“Hopefully, this bill will close an ugly chapter in American history,” said Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. “For too long, many Americans were considered dangerous and violent simply because of the color of their skin. We passed a bill to ban lynching in the House of Representatives already, but chokeholds are the 21st century’s version of legalized lynching. This bill will eliminate chokeholds and the racial profiling that has killed far too many Americans across the country. It will end the “no-knock” warrants, which have allowed police officers to violate the sanctity of African-American homes and the privacy of African-American homeowners. And it will create a nationwide standard for police conduct so that we can stop police brutality against minorities. This is a day we have been awaiting in the Black community for a long time. I am proud to vote for this bill and honored to be part of the Congressional Black Caucus that made it happen. All lives will matter when Black lives matter.”
In addition to the national standard for police conduct, the bill would mandate several other changes to police conduct. It would force police departments to collect data on police encounters; limit the transfer of military-grade equipment to state and local law enforcement; ensure the use of body cameras for federal, state and local law enforcement officials; take existing funds from law enforcement to invest in transformative community-based policing programs; streamline federal law to prosecute excessive force; and establish independent prosecutors for police investigations.