Three Los Angeles City Councilmembers today introduced a resolution to support the U.S. House of Representatives’ proposed George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which seeks to hold officers accountable in court, restrict certain police practices, enhance transparency and data collection, and improve police training requirements.
“H.R. 1280 would make systematic reforms to policing in the United States by creating a ‘National Police Misconduct Registry’ to collect data on misconduct allegations for police departments nationwide, dissolving qualified immunity from liability for peace officers, banning some types of no-knock warrants and choke holds, and by encouraging significant reform to police training and policies,” stated the motion, which was introduced by Councilmembers Mark Ridley-Thomas, Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Curren Price.
The motion added that the bill would make it easier to hold accountable officers “who abuse their authority or who engage in criminal activity.”
The bill was first introduced by Rep. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) on June 8, soon after George Floyd’s murder on May 25 by a Minneapolis police officer. It passed mostly on party lines in the House on June 25 and again on March 3.
Floyd’s murder sparked protests across the country, including in Pasadena, and led the creation of a local police oversight commission.
If passed by the U.S. Senate and signed into law by President Joe Biden, the act would:
• lower the criminal intent standard to convict officers who commit misconduct;
• limit the use of qualified immunity as a defense to liability in a private civil action; and
• give the U.S. Department of Justice administrative subpoena power in pattern-or-practice investigations, which are civil, not criminal, investigations.
It would also direct the Department of Justice to create standards for law enforcement agencies to complete training on implicit bias, racial profiling and the duty to intervene if another officer is using excessive force.