Received this e-mail today from U.S. Senator Tina Smith’s (D. MN) re-election campaign:
This morning, House and Senate Democrats announced a new bill that could bring transformative change in policing. I am proud to join the Congressional Black Caucus, the House Judiciary Committee, and Senators Cory Booker and Kamala Harris in helping introduce this critical piece of legislation.
Now, I am calling on Mitch McConnell to allow this bill to the floor for a vote. But, I need your help to send a powerful message to Washington. Can you sign my petition to demand this bill gets heard on the Senate floor?
Our work is to root out the culture of racism and abuse of power at the heart of a system that allows the Black community and so many other marginalized communities to be killed, abused, and harassed by law enforcement over and over again.
The bill includes the following changes to police policy:
- Create a federal registry for police misconduct and require states to report use of force to the Department of Justice;
- Ban chokeholds and carotid holds and only allocate funding to state and local jurisdictions that end these practices;
- End the use of “no-knock” warrants that often lead to deadly use of force by officers and make funding contingent on ending the use of these warrants;
- Give state attorneys general the power to hold police accountable for eliminating the culture of racism and violence in their departments, and to conduct independent investigations of the use of force;
- Enact mandatory racial and implicit bias training for police officers and condition federal funding to departments based on them providing this training;
- Strictly limit the transfer of military-grade weaponry to police departments;
- Make lynching a federal hate crime;
- And changes “qualified immunity” to make it easier for people to be able to sue police officers for civil rights violations.
The Justice in Policing Act of 2020 is a good and important start in enacting much-needed change to federal policy around policing. We need to pass this legislation in both the House and the Senate — and we’ll need your help to do so.
I know this bill is just the beginning. But I think it’s a very important first step. We have a lot of work to do, and I am more committed than ever to this fight.
Thank you for consistently taking action. I am proud to have you on this team.