CAPAC Endorses CBC Bills to Reform Police, Bring Racial Healing

Jun 10, 2020 Issues: Civil Rights

Washington, D.C. –The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) led by Chairwoman Judy Chu (CA-27) officially endorsed three legislative proposals from the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) to address the epidemic of police violence following the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor by police officers that ignited nationwide protests for justice. The first bill, H.R. 7120, the Justice in Policing Act of 2020, led by CBC Chair Karen Bass (CA-37) and House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), combats police brutality by removing barriers to prosecuting police misconduct, banning chokeholds, requiring body and dashboard cameras,  and ending qualified immunity by law enforcement. It also de-militarizes the police by limiting the transfer of military weaponry to state and local police departments and improves transparency by mandating reports on the use of force by state and local law enforcement agencies. The second bill, H.Res. 988, introduced by Rep. Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), condemns all acts of police brutality, racial profiling, and the use of excessive and militarized force throughout the country. The third, H.Con.Res. 100, introduced by Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13), urges the establishment of a United States Commission on Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (THRT) to examine the effects of racism and discrimination against people color and its impacts on laws and policies today.

Last week, CAPAC convened a press conference with leaders from the Congressional Black, Hispanic, and Native American Caucus in solidarity with the Black community amid national protests following the murder of George Floyd. CAPAC Chair Chu also participated in a press call with AAPI leaders to show solidarity with the Black community and to highlight the broad support from AAPIs across the nation for racial justice, including a letter signed by over 200 AAPI organizations.

 CAPAC Chair Judy Chu issued the following statement:

“The murder of George Floyd must be a turning point in our country to finally put an end to racism and violence against Black Americans in our justice system. We cannot bury our heads or look away from this daily epidemic of injustice that people of color face at the hands of law enforcement. That is why CAPAC stands with the Congressional Black Caucus, and with communities across the nation, to demand action. The Justice in Policing Act is an historic step that ensures more accountability and transparency in our police, both of which are necessary for restoring faith in police and building community relationships. But it is just a start. We have to push back against the growing militarization of our police force that encourages police officers to treat our streets like foreign battlefields, which is why CAPAC supports Rep. Pressley’s resolution to condemn police brutality, racial profiling, and excessive force. And a commission on Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation is necessary to fully detail the depth of prejudice and violence in our nation and its impact on our policies today, which is why Rep. Lee’s resolution is so critical. Without fully uncovering the truth, we cannot move forward with change.

“Congress has an important role to play in setting rigorous federal standards and providing proper oversight to ensure that federal funds are being used appropriately by law enforcement. We must also use our voices to ensure that violence and inequality are condemned from the highest levels. That is exactly what these bills help us to do. But there is no single federal policy that will resolve centuries of systemic racism and lethal force used by police against Black communities. That’s why we also need allies in state and local government to step up, implement reforms, and realign priorities. There’s a true crisis in American law enforcement right now. Through these reforms, we can not only restore confidence, but ensure policing actually works to protect communities of color and all Americans.”