Two National Police Reform Bills – Which is better?

There are two police reform bills currently in the United States Congress. The first is the “George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020” (actual bill available here) and the other is the “Just and Unifying Solutions To Invigorate Communities Everywhere Act of 2020” or “JUSTICE Act” (text available here) for short here is a quick difference of the two:

George Floyd Police Bill:

  • Makes lynching a hate crime;
  • Ends sovereign immunity for law enforcement;
  • Changes the standard for prosecuting misconduct;
  • Creates public record database of officer disciplinary records;
  • Collects Data on Use of Force;
  • Bans law enforcement from racial profiling and religious profiling;
  • Bans no-knock warrants for federal agencies;
  • Conditions grant money to state and local forces on bans of no-knock warrants;
  • Limits transfer of military-grade equipment;
  • Requires federal officers to wear body cameras;
  • Requires state and local forces to use federal funds to buy body cameras; and
  • Tightens standard for when officers can use force to “only when necessary” instead of “reasonable”.

JUSTICE Act:

  • Makes lynching a hate crime;
  • Creates a database of officer disciplinary records that is not open to the public;
  • Collects data on use of force;
  • No ban on religious or racial profiling;
  • No ban on no-knock warrants;
  • No ban on chokeholds – instructs Attorney General to develop policy;
  • Allows continued transfer of military grade equipment to local police;
  • Does not require law enforcement to wear body cameras;
  • No standards on when officers use force.

What can you do?

Let your elected officials know which one you support. If you are in Ohio, you can contact Sen. Brown by calling 614-469-2083 and Sen. Portman by calling 614-469-6774.

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