Washington D.C., June 25, 2020 - Today, the Brady Campaign applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for passing for H.R. 7120, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020. This bill, passed with bipartisan support, reforms policing tactics and permissible use of force, mandates transparency, and facilitates accountability to address the manifold defects in policing that enable and protect police violence. The bill will make communities safer and reduce the senseless acts of police violence across communities in the United States.
Brady President Kris Brown said:
"Once again the U.S. House of Representatives of the 116th Congress has taken action to address the concerns and needs of the American people. Passing the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020 is a significant step towards preventing unjust, and potentially lethal, practices within policing. Though activists have demanded radical change to policing for years, for many across the country the events of the past month have shown why this bill is important and is a needed step forward.
Black and Brown Americans have called for these critical reforms for far too long, and Brady applauds the House for responding to the civil unrest witnessed these most recent painful months, and turning them into proactive change. This bill bears the name of George Floyd. It is too late to save his life, but we must dedicate our actions to correct the systemic injustices that led to his death in his name and the names of many other Black and Brown Americans - such as Breonna Taylor, whose killers still have not been charged over 100 days after she was shot to death by police in her home as she slept - who have been brutalized by police violence.
We now urge the U.S. Senate to emulate this leadership and take substantive steps to address police violence and reform the institution of policing. America is experiencing a once in a generation moment for social justice and our nation’s leaders must answer the call. This bill cannot be another marker in Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s legislative graveyard. Justice and accountability are not up for political debate. The Senate must pass this bill.”
The United States sees rates of police violence and officer-involved shootings at far higher rates than its peer countries. Nearly 1,100 people were killed by police in 2019, a number and rate far higher than in other, industrialized nations. While there is certainly a connection between high rates of police violence and high rates of gun violence in the United States, it is not a simple corollary. Police violence is inextricably linked to white supremacy in the United States, as American Indian/Alaska Native, Latinx, and especially Black Americans face numerous aggressions in their interaction with law enforcement than their white counterparts, each and every day.
Black men are 2.8 times more likely to be the victims of deadly police force than their white counterparts, while unarmed Black men are more than four times as likely to be shot and killed by police than their White peers. Similarly, Native Americans are 3.1 times more likely to be killed by police than white Americans and, while they comprise just 0.8 percent of the total U.S. population, Native Americans are 1.9 percent of police-involved shooting fatalities.
Brady holds that police violence is the unlawful, unnecessary, or disproportionate use of force by police. Because police violence, in all of its forms, is facilitated by the direct use, threat, or perceived threat of firearms, not only to the victims but also bystanders with intent to intervene on their behalf, police violence is gun violence.
An end to police violence is not a single-issue solution. Racial bias in the country runs through almost every system in ways seen and unseen. Brady proudly supports the movements aimed at making the country a fairer and safer place. It is reflected in the actions of the House that they are taking active measures to echo the voice of many Americans. Brady once again commends the house for their actions and calls on the U.S. Senate to take up this bill and take action to reform our nation’s policing systems.
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.