People are righteously protesting police brutality because black lives matter. There are politicians out there that are working to prevent systemic violence toward black Americans by the police. After Ferguson, Obama established a ‘Taskforce on 21st Century Policing’ by executive order. President Obama’s intention was to identify the best practices in policing and to discover the best way for police departments to build public trust. This is leadership in the promotion of hope and change.
The Taskforce acknowledged that public trust in the police is necessary:
Trust between law enforcement agencies and the people they protect and serve is essential in a democracy. It is key to the stability of our communities, the integrity of our criminal justice system, and the safe and effective delivery of policing servicesExecutive Summary of the Report on 21st Century Policing
The task force recommendations, each with action items, are organized around six main topic areas orExecutive Summary of the Report on 21st Century Policing
“pillars:” Building Trust and Legitimacy, Policy and Oversight, Technology and Social Media, Community Policing and Crime Reduction, Officer Training and Education, and Officer Safety and Wellness. The task force also offered two overarching recommendations: the President should support the creation of a National Crime and Justice Task Force to examine all areas of criminal justice and propose reforms; as a corollary to this effort, the task force also recommends that the President support programs that take a comprehensive and inclusive look at community-based initiatives addressing core issues such as poverty, education, and health and safety.
OK THEN!! So some politicians decided to start acting on these recommendations and they introduced a bill to get things going. Wow America would have been so great if only everyone wanted police reform and to protect black lives from the brutality perpetrated by those ‘few bad apple’ cops that were prone to using excessive force.
The ‘S.1938 — 116th Congress: Police Training and Independent Review Act of 2019’ was introduced by Senators Tammy Duckworth, Kirsten Gillebrand, Mazie Hirono, Kamala Harris, Ed Markey, and Bernie Sanders in 2019. A lot of people liked the bill, especially organizations that advocate for black Americans and other people of color, or who are vulnerable citizens that are disproportionately targeted by the police. Organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). People liked it because the bill was aiming to reduce injustice. Who wouldn’t like this:
The use of an independent agency, civilian review board or outside law enforcement department, such as the State Police, responsible for independently investigating and prosecuting all officer use of force allegations.
The appointment of the State Attorney General, or a special prosecutor overseen by the State Attorney General, responsible for conducting the criminal investigation and prosecution.
The use of an independent prosecutor, who does not reside or work in the same county as the county where the officer’s use of force was committed.Duckworth
The Police Training and Independent Review Act would create a financial incentive for states to require training for law enforcement officials on fair and impartial policing as well as best practices for working with members of the community who are disabled and mentally ill. It would also encourage communities to use independent prosecutors to investigate law enforcement officials’ use of deadly force by authorizing the U.S. Attorney General to award grants to states that require an independent investigation and, if warranted, prosecution in cases where one or more of the alleged offenses result in death or serious bodily harm.Duckworth
The Republican Senators co not seem to be able to get beyond the issue of their own white fragility and seem insulted by the bill itself:
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), an adviser to McConnell, said that law enforcement reform legislation was “opportunistic” and “misses the point.”
“This idea that we somehow are going to paint all of law enforcement with a brush of racism is outrageous in and of itself and it’s obviously designed to divide the country further,” Cornyn said about the prospects for legislation.The Hill
Really? So does the fact there are police at all suggest that ALL people are criminals? Does the presence of laws suggest that all people are guilty of crimes? Does the presence of Donald Trump in the White House imply that all Americans voted for him? I am not sure where the GOP wants to go with this argument.
Not even the Democrats are united on this very simple issue:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Tuesday that rank-and-file Democrats disagree over whether the goal should be sweeping legislation or a piecemeal approach, which might have a better chance of becoming law.The Hill
Oh and did you know that the Senate Agenda for June does not include any time for the discussion of police reform? Oh we are in for a long, hot, summer.
In the Senate, Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is publicly urging McConnell to vote on legislation before the two-week July 4 recess, but the GOP leader’s outline for the Senate’s agenda in June does not include police reform.The Hill
There are a lot of Democrats that are working on various bills that are trying to achieve the same thing, BUT WHY are they not all working together to blend all their good ideas into a single bill? They need to unite with a strong legislative solution that forces the wishy washy GOP senators to have to stand for or against police reform. As it stands, the GOP senators are simply wringing their hands and musing that they do not know what they could possibly do to solve this problem that might not even exist. Just look at what the Republicans are saying:
“I think these are conversations that we need to have. … Is there a right legislative response? I don’t know,” — Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). Read: Who knows what can be done about police brutality. Its such a complicated issue.
“I think it’s pretty hard to come up with national police reform measures, which is why I think it’s better that the Justice Department work with individual police departments … to help them determine what they could be doing better.” –Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo). Yes, so hard. A taskforce did a big study and laid it out for you. Did you read their report?
“With no animosity, I object at this time. I hope we can get it [as] part of a broader agenda,” — Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Wow he must have some big plans! Show them to us!
“There may be a role” for lawmakers. — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel (R-Ky). MAY be a role? Is he not sure?
What does Trump say about all this? Besides Tweeting out useless crap like “LAW AND ORDER” and “Blue Lives Matter”?
He also had time to Tweet this:
Together, Trump and the complicit Republican Senators are clearly not motivated to make any changes. Remember that when you get to the polls.