Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Cosponsors Policing Reform Legislation

June 15, 2020
Press Release
Washington, DC—Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) cosponsored both H.R. 7120, the Justice in Policing Act, and H.Res. 988, condemning police brutality, racial profiling, and the use of excessive and militarized force throughout the country.
“Our nation is facing great heartbreak and trauma in the wake of the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer in broad daylight. Accountability and justice for Mr. Floyd and his family must occur, but that is not enough. As a nation, we must address the many systemic problems that have brought us to this point by enacting significant reforms. This legislation takes the first steps in being able to do that. These problems are complex, will not be solved overnight, and will require us to come together as Americans, in the spirit of aloha — respect and love for others — taking a stand for justice and equality for all,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
H.R. 7120, the Justice in Police Act improves police accountability and transparency by:
  • Establishing a National Police Misconduct Registry to prevent problematic officers who are fired or leave the agency from moving to another jurisdiction without any accountability.
  • Requiring states to report any incident where use of force is used against a civilian or against a law enforcement officer to the Department of Justice.
  • Amending the federal threshold for defining police misconduct from “willfully” violating constitutional rights to doing so with “knowing or reckless disregard.”
  • Curtailing qualified immunity, which broadly shields police officers from being liable for damages for civil rights violations, opening the door to more criminal prosecution and civil lawsuits. 
  • Granting subpoena power to the Department of Justice and state Attorneys General to investigate practices and patterns of discrimination and creating a grant program for state Attorneys General to develop authority to conduct independent investigations into problematic police departments.
  • Creating law enforcement training programs to develop best practices and requiring the creation of law enforcement accreditation standards recommendations.
  • Prohibiting federal, state, and local law enforcement from racial, religious, and discriminatory profiling, and mandating training on racial, religious, and discriminatory profiling.
  • Banning chokeholds, carotid holds, and no-knock warrants at the federal level.
  • Limiting the transfer of military-grade equipment to state and local law enforcement.
  • Mandating the use of dashboard cameras and body cameras for federal offices and requiring state and local law enforcement to use existing federal funds to ensure the use of police body cameras.
  • Making lynching a federal crime for the first time. 
H.Res. 988 condemns all acts of police brutality, racial profiling, and excessive use of force and calls for the end of militarized policing practices in communities. This resolution also:
  • Supports efforts to eliminate excessive use of force, conduct stringent oversight and investigations, and hold individual law enforcement officers and police departments accountable for police brutality, racial profiling, and violence; 
  • Calls on the Department of Justice to reinstitute its authority to investigate individual instances of police brutality, racial profiling as well as police departments that repeatedly violate civil rights; 
  • Supports meaningful local and community led transparency and oversight efforts, including all-civilian review boards with the authority to effectively investigate incidents of police misconduct. 
  • Calls for the adoption of sound and unbiased law enforcement policies at all levels of government to reduce the disparate impact of police brutality and use of force on Black and Brown people and other historically marginalized communities. 
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has been a vocal opponent of racism and bigotry and has drawn attention to the challenges America has and continues to face on this front.
In February, she voted to pass H.R.35, the Emmett Till Antilynching Act, a bill that would designate lynching as a federal hate crime. She has condemned President Trump’s racists, divisive Tweets and drawn attention to the growing divisiveness in the U.S. and contrasted it to the spirit of aloha at the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors, which was hosted in Honolulu, HI.
In March 2019, she joined Rep. John Lewis (GA-05) for his annual pilgrimage to Alabama to commemorate the Civil Rights Movement. She is a cosponsor of H.R.40, which calls for the creation of a commission to explore reparations proposals to address the impacts of slavery.
During her time in Congress she has commemorated the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, noting that the divisiveness and bigotry underlying Executive Order 9066 persists to this day and must be confronted with love and respect. She also confronted anti-Muslim bias and emphasized the importance of bringing communities together through compassion and justice, evoking the legacy of peace and non-violent change championed by Mahatma Gandhi.
About Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is serving her fourth term in the United States House representing Hawai‘i’s Second District, and serves on the House Armed Services and Financial Services Committees. She previously served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Homeland Security Committee. She was elected to the Honolulu City Council in 2010, and prior to that at age 21, was elected to the Hawaiʻi State Legislature in 2002, becoming the youngest person ever elected in the state. Tulsi Gabbard has served in the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard for over 17 years, is a veteran of two Middle East deployments, and continues to serve as a Major. Learn more about Rep. Tulsi Gabbard...
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