Press Releases

Rose Announces Support for Justice in Policing Act

Congressman to co-sponsor landmark legislation to help build trust between law enforcement and our communities

Staten Island, June 17, 2020

Congressman Max Rose issued the following statement today announcing that he is co-sponsoring the Justice in Policing Act of 2020, the first-ever bold, comprehensive approach to change the culture of law enforcement and build trust between law enforcement and our communities:

 

“My colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus put forward historic legislation aimed at creating a fair, more just law enforcement system in the United States. After carefully reviewing the legislation and listening to those in the community—I will be co-sponsoring the Justice in Policing Act.

 

“With the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and far too many others, there was no doubt in my mind—or that of most Americans—that we needed to act. Once again, we saw that Black Americans, and other communities of color, are not equal in the eyes of too many criminal justice systems around the country. This bill has the potential to change that and bring us one step closer to the more perfect union that we, as Americans, know is possible.

 

“Every day we ask men and women in uniform to exhibit courageous restraint—similar to what was expected of my soldiers and me in Afghanistan. I understand the split-second decisions Police Officers have to make. I know of the stress and pain their family members must shoulder every day when their husband, wife, son or daughter puts on that uniform. The danger they face is real and I would not vote for a bill that endangers them while on duty. 

 

“So let’s be clear about what the Justice in Policing Act bill does. This bill prohibits racial profiling and mandates training to eliminate the biases that all people have. It treats chokeholds as a deadly use of force that should only be undertaken in the most dire of circumstances, after all attempts to deescalate have been exhausted. It will prevent bad officers who’ve lost their job for dishonoring the uniform from sneaking into another department a few towns over, and will ensure proper oversight of police departments across the country that do not yet live up to the professionalism of the NYPD. This bill will not defund the police, but rather help Police Officers do the job they love safely and with the trust of the community they serve.

 

“We are all hurting—not equally, and often for a variety of reasons—but that is what we are feeling. But no matter what, we cannot retreat to our partisan corners. We cannot see cops as the enemy or minimize the pain and clarion call for systemic change expressed by protestors across the country. This emotional and complicated work demands more than easy answers and sloganeering. It demands a renewed effort to address deep and long held racial inequities across society. Let’s get to work.”

 

The Justice in Policing Act of 2020—which is expected to be brought for a vote on the House floor next week:

  • Prohibits federal, state, and local law enforcement from racial, religious and discriminatory profiling, and mandates training on racial, religious, and discriminatory profiling for all law enforcement.
  • Limits chokeholds, carotid holds and no-knock warrants at the federal level and limits the transfer of military-grade equipment to state and local law enforcement.
  • Mandates the use of dashboard cameras and body cameras for federal officers and requires state and local law enforcement to use existing federal funds to ensure the use of police body cameras.
  • Establishes a National Police Misconduct Registry to prevent problematic officers who are fired or leave an agency for disciplinary misconduct from working in another jurisdiction without accountability.
  • Amends federal criminal statute from “willfulness” to a “recklessness” standard to successfully identify and prosecute police misconduct.
  • Reforms qualified immunity so that individuals are not barred from recovering damages when police violate their constitutional rights.
  • Requires state and local law enforcement agencies to report use of force data, disaggregated by race, sex, disability, religion, age.
  • Improves the use of pattern and practice investigations at the federal level by granting the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division subpoena power and creates a grant program for state attorneys general to develop authority to conduct independent investigations into problematic police departments.

Rose proudly supports the brave men and women of the NYPD who risk their lives every day to keep our city safe. Rose has continually fought to ensure public safety officers and those who serve on the frontlines are protected if the worst were to happen. Last month, the House of Representatives passed Rose’s Public Safety Officer Pandemic Response Act of 2020, to expand an existing federal program to ensure that public safety officers who contract COVID-19 in the line of duty are eligible for benefits should they become disabled or die from the virus. Rose, an original cosponsor of the bipartisan legislation to permanently renew and fully fund the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, which was signed into law earlier this year, secured the support of every one of his freshman Democrat colleagues in the House.

 

Citing the urgent need for immediate relief for those who are hurting as a result of this pandemic, Rose helped pass the bipartisan CARES Act which provided more than $40 billion to New York, including vital support for first responders on the front lines. Last month, Rose partnered with local District Attorneys and Axon Enterprise, Inc., a company which develops connected public safety technologies for law enforcement agencies, to donate critical supplies to help protect prosecutors, criminal investigators, and support staff in the District Attorney’s offices who are on the front lines working with victims of crimes to ensure justice is served.

 

As chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism, Rose has worked tirelessly to ensure that law enforcement has the support it needs from the federal government to do its job. Following a bipartisan push by Rose, Congress passed legislation to increase funding for critical counterterrorism programs of which New York City relies upon by $90 million over current funding levels. Rose also helped secure an increase in funding for training, peer mentoring, and mental health programs for law enforcement officers by $2 million following tragic suicides by NYPD officers.

 

###