Dick Durbin

Durbin, Duckworth Among Co-Sponsors of ‘Justice in Policing' Bill

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Illinois Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth are among a large group of Democratic lawmakers sponsoring a police reform bill in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.

The senators joined Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) along with Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), chair of the House Judiciary Committee, in introducing the bill, titled the “Justice in Policing Act of 2020” this week.

“We cannot call ourselves a land of justice until we address fundamental issues of racial injustice,” Durbin said. “Those who abuse the power of policing at the expense of others, particularly black and brown communities, have no place in law enforcement in America. That clear line must be drawn.”

Durbin said that the bill is designed to allow lawmakers and citizens to “stand by the good, professional police,” and laid out a lengthy series of police reforms.

The bill would:

-Prohibit federal, state and local law enforcement from racial, religious and other types of discriminatory profiling, and would mandate training on that profiling for all law enforcement officers.

-Ban chokeholds, carotid holds and no-knock warrants at the federal level, and would limit the transfer of military-grade equipment to state and local law enforcement.

-Mandate the use of dashboard cameras and body cameras for federal officers.

-Establish a database to prevent officers found to have committed wrongdoing from moving to another jurisdiction without accountability.

-Reforms qualified immunity.

-Create law enforcement development and training programs to develop best practices and require the creation of law enforcement accreditation standard recommendations.

-Requires state and local law enforcement agencies to report use of force data.

The senators said that they believe the bill will help foster a culture where preventable police-involved deaths are reduced dramatically, and that there will be accountability for officers who use deadly force when it is not warranted.

“We cannot let ourselves accept that in the United States of America, in the year 2020, black men and women are still being publicly executed without judge or jury in tragic and preventable police-involved deaths,” Duckworth said. “I’m proud to join my Democratic colleagues to introduce this comprehensive police reform legislation that includes provisions of my bill to promote objective and independent investigations into police-involved use of deadly force.”

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