Sending Office: Honorable Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr.
Request for Cosponsor(s)
Please join me in cosponsoring H.R. 4331, the Police Accountability Act of 2017, legislation that would make it a federal crime for a police officer to kill an individual in the line of duty.
The DOJ’s recent decision to repurpose the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (C.O.P.S.) has made it even more important to codify procedures in the
wake of police misconduct. The Collaborative Reform Initiative within the C.O.P.S. office studied local law enforcement agencies, looking for policies and procedures that contributed to bias in policing and the use of excessive force. They would then submit
recommendations to these local agencies in attempts to reduce police killings. With the future of this program unclear, it is more important now than ever to set up a clear way to achieve equal justice and hold law enforcement officers accountable.
The inability to pursue justice in the wake of a police shooting further erodes community trust in law enforcement and demonstrates the need for harsher courses of judicial action.
The Police Accountability Act expands the authority of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to include murder investigations involving police officers in the line of duty. Currently, the only course of action the DOJ can take after police killings is to pursue
a criminal civil rights investigation. These investigations, however, have extremely high standards of proof and often do not result in any convictions.
The Police Accountability Act makes it a federal crime for police officers to commit murder or manslaughter, giving the DOJ jurisdiction to bring charges against the officer if a State fails to do so. The law would apply to all law enforcement officers at
agencies or departments that receive federal funding. This bill is substantially similar to the Police Accountability Act introduced in the 114th Congress.
If you have any questions or would like to co-sponsor this important piece of legislation, please contact Caroline Hunsicker in my office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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