Sending Office: Honorable Steve Cohen
Sent By:
Alex.Lipow@mail.house.gov

        Request for Cosponsor(s)

Cosponsor the Police Training and Independent Review Act

H.R. 125

116th – House cosponsors include (63): Jerry Nadler, Zoe Lofgren, Sheila Jackson Lee, Hank Johnson, David Cicilline, Jamie Raskin, Nanette Barragán, Joyce Beatty, Earl Blumenauer, André Carson, Kathy Castor, Yvette Clarke, Lacy Clay, Elijah Cummings,
Danny Davis, Rosa DeLauro, Mark DeSaulnier, Debbie Dingell, Eliot Engel, Anna Eshoo, Adriano Espaillat, Dwight Evans, Bill Foster, Marcia Fudge, Alcee Hastings, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Marcy Kaptur, Robin Kelly, Ro Khanna, Jim Langevin, Betty McCollum, A. Donald
McEachin, Jim McGovern, Jerry McNerney, Gregory Meeks, Gwen Moore, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Frank Pallone, Bill Pascrell, Donald Payne, Chellie Pingree, Mark Pocan, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Tim Ryan, Jan Schakowsky, Adam Schiff, Bobby Scott, David Scott,, José
Serrano, Albio Sires, Jackie Speier, Mark Takano, Bennie Thompson, Paul Tonko, Marc Veasey, Nydia Velázquez, Maxine Waters, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Frederica Wilson, Cedric Richmond, and Anthony Brown

Dear Colleague:

Even the traditionally Republican editorial board at the Chicago Tribune agrees – police officer-involved shootings need
independent prosecutors. 

Events in Minnesota, Louisiana, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Illinois, Maryland, South Carolina, Tennessee underscore the fact that we have a national problem and Congress needs to act.

Local prosecutors should not be investigating the same police with whom they work so closely. 

Also, in 2016, DOJ announced that it will train all of its law enforcement agents to recognize implicit bias as part of its regular training. The training is based on the best practices in law enforcement.

Social science has shown that all individuals experience some form of implicit bias but that the effects of those biases can be countered through training. The federal government is leading the way, but it is abundantly clear all communities can benefit
from similar training for all law enforcement.

The Police Training and Independent Review Act, would provide federal funding as an incentive for states to:

  • Require enrollees at law enforcement academies receive sensitivity training on ethics and racial bias, cultural diversity, and police interaction with the disabled, mentally ill, and new immigrants.
  • Adopt state laws requiring independent investigations and prosecutions of law enforcement officers in cases where one or more of the alleged offenses involves an officer’s use of deadly force in the course of carrying out his or her official duties.

The bill directly addresses a key recommendation included in President Obama’s Taskforce on 21st Century Policing’s final report: 

 “2.2.3 Action Item:

The task force encour­ages policies that mandate the use of external and independent prosecutors in cases of police use of force resulting in death, officer-involved shootings resulting in injury or death, or in-custody deaths.

Strong systems and policies that encourage use of an independent prosecutor for reviewing police uses of force and for prosecution in cases of inappropriate deadly force and in-custody death will demonstrate the transparency to the public that can lead to
mutual trust between community and law enforcement.”

If you have any questions, or to cosponsor, please contact Yvette Cravins in Rep. Clay’s office (yvette.cravins@mail.house.gov) or Matt Weisman in Rep. Cohen’s office (matthew.weisman@mail.house.gov).

Sincerely,

 

Wm. Lacy Clay                              Steve Cohen

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Civil Rights, Government, Judiciary

Related Bill Information

Bill Type: H.R.
Bill Type: 125
Special Note:

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