Rep. Axne Votes with Bipartisan House to Advance Comprehensive Law Enforcement Reform Legislation
Today, Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) voted with a bipartisan majority in the U.S. House of Representatives to advance comprehensive legislation aimed at curbing police brutality, holding law enforcement agencies accountable, and giving communities resources to improve public safety.
The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020, which was cosponsored by Rep. Axne earlier this month, will improve accountability and data collection for police misconduct, ban the use of chokeholds and other life-threatening restraint tactics, require racial discrimination training and the creation of department accreditation standards, and empower communities to confront systemic racism and racial bias in public safety institutions.
“As a voice representing communities across central and southwest Iowa – communities where voices of outrage and distress have reverberated for weeks – I am proud of this vote today. This legislation is our first step towards making change a reality for Black Americans across our country, tackling not only racism and bias in our institutions, but it also making direct and necessary changes that will save lives and hold law enforcement accountable,” said Rep. Axne. “Just as we have seen at the municipal and state level in Iowa, I am hopeful that these reforms at the federal level can also be negotiated in a bipartisan fashion – and that we can continue to move swiftly and methodically to achieve real transparency and accountability for our communities.”
The bill includes provisions to:
- Prohibit federal, state, and local law enforcement from racial, religious and discriminatory profiling
- Ban chokeholds and carotid holds at the federal level, as well as condition law enforcement funding for state and local governments on banning chokeholds
- Create a nationwide police misconduct registry to prevent problematic officers from moving to another jurisdiction without accountability
- Mandate state and local law enforcement agencies to report use of force data, disaggregated by race, sex, disability, religion, and age
- Establish public safety innovation grants for community-based organizations to create local commissions and task forces to help communities to improve public safety
- Limit the transfer of military-grade equipment to state and local law enforcement
- Require state and local law enforcement to use existing federal funds to ensure the use of police body cameras, and requires federal uniformed police officers to wear body cameras
- Create law enforcement accreditation standard recommendations, as well as law enforcement development and training programs to develop best practices
In addition, the legislation also requires law enforcement to collect data on all investigatory activities, mandates training on racial and other discriminatory profiling, and makes changes to ensure officers can be held accountable in court by amending criminal statutes and qualified immunity protections for law enforcement.
Rep. Axne is also a co-sponsor of the Eric Garner Excessive Use of Force Prevention Act, the Police Training and Independent Review Act, Law Enforcement Training for Mental Health Crisis Response Act, and the Closing the Law Enforcement Consent Loophole Act.