Sarbanes Joins Historic, Comprehensive Effort to Reform Law Enforcement Across America and Crack Down on Police Brutality

Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today co-sponsored and introduced the Justice in Policing Act, a historic effort to transform policing across America and help end the patterns of racial discrimination, abuse and violence by police officers against people and communities of color.

“We must eradicate the systemic racism that exists within law enforcement agencies across the country and build a more transparent and just public safety system in America,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “This bill will help ensure that police officers are held accountable to the people and communities they serve. I’m proud to join the Congressional Black Caucus, under the leadership of Chair Karen Bass (D-Calif.), in assembling this robust policing overhaul.”

Key provisions of the Justice in Policing Act include:

  • Removing barriers to prosecuting police officers for misconduct and recovering damages from officers who have violated civilians’ rights;
  • Combating police brutality by requiring body and dashboard cameras, banning chokeholds, ending no-knock warrants in drug cases and taking steps to end racial profiling;
  • De-militarizing the police by limiting the transfer of military weaponry to state and local police departments;
  • Improving police transparency by collecting better and more accurate data of police misconduct and use of force;
  • Increasing pressure on the Justice Department to address systemic racial discrimination by law enforcement; and
  • Making lynching a federal crime, building on the passage of the Emmett Till Antilynching Act (H.R. 35) in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year.