Congresswoman Barbara Lee Praises Passage of Landmark Police Reform Bill

Washington, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13), senior member of the House Appropriations Committee and member of the Congressional Black Caucus, voted for H.R. 7120, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021—bold police reform legislation led by the Congressional Black Caucus. Congresswoman Lee released the following statement following the bill’s passage:

“For generations, law enforcement has systematically abused and tormented communities of color. Today, the House passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing act of 2021 to finally hold police accountable and create structural changes, like ending qualified immunity and mandating police brutality data collection, to put a stop to systemic racism in policing.

“As the mother and grandmother of Black men and boys, I had many painful conversations – as all Black families do – about what to do to make sure their encounters with the police were not deadly. The trauma around these fears is lifelong and should not be normalized.

“Countless African Americans have been murdered at the hands of law enforcement. From George Floyd, to Breonna Taylor, to Oscar Grant, far too many Black and Brown people have had their lives cut short because of a rotten system. This bill is the first step towards justice for so many families who have been traumatized and torn apart due to wrongful, unchecked, aggressive policing.

“Following Black History Month, we must show the world that nobody is above the law. It’s past time we live up to our creed of liberty and justice for all, and ensure that Black Lives Matter.”

The Justice in Policing Act would: 1) establish a national standard for the operation of police departments; 2) mandate data collection on police encounters; 3) reprogram existing funds to invest in transformative community-based policing programs; and 4) streamline federal law to prosecute excessive force and establish independent prosecutors for police investigations.