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Press Release

Rep. Castor Statement on House Passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) released the following statement after House passage of the historic George Floyd Justice in Policing Act today. A similar bill was passed by the House last year and not taken up by the GOP-led Senate.

“Our nation continues to grieve the senseless deaths of George Floyd, Elijah McClain, Breonna Taylor, Stephon Clark, Botham Jean, Atatiana Jefferson, and other Black Americans at the hands of police. Despite the ongoing, disparate violence against our neighbors of color, the GOP-led Senate shamefully did not take up this legislation for a vote after the House passed it last June. So once more, the House passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to answer the widespread calls to reform police practices and tackle systemic racism across America.

“I continue to listen to my Tampa area neighbors and their calls for “justice” online, during marches, prayers and protests. Black lives matter, and this vote is dedicated to the generations of our neighbors who have suffered the unfair burdens of discrimination, disrespect and violence due to the color of their skin. I join Floridians and an overwhelming number of Americans when I say that it is time to finally take action to curb police violence and save lives.  This bill will hold police accountable in our courts, improve transparency in policing by collecting better and more accurate data of police misconduct and use-of-force, improve police training and practices and make lynching a federal crime.

“It is good to see Tampa and Hillsborough County law enforcement already making reforms. It’s time for the nation to join us in taking decisive action – the time for transformational change is now. In fact, a new paradigm for policing America is overdue, and I count on President Biden and the Democratic-led Senate to join us in getting this bill over the finish line.”

The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act is supported by leading organizations including the NAACP, National Action Network, National Urban League, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the National Partnership for Women and Families, and The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act will take numerous key steps to achieve transformative, structural change to combat the pattern of police brutality and racial injustice, including:

  • Banning all chokeholds;
  • Banning no-knock warrants in drug cases;
  • Ending racial, religious and discriminatory profiling;
  • Eliminating the qualified immunity doctrine that is a barrier to holding police officers accountable for wrongful conduct;
  • Establishing a National Police Misconduct Registry to improve transparency and prevent problematic officers who are fired or leave one agency, from moving to another jurisdiction without any accountability;
  • Requiring data collection, including mandatory body cameras and dashboard cameras;
  • Establishing new standards for policing and the Public Safety Innovation grants for community-based organizations to help reimagine policing in their communities;
  • Making lynching a federal hate crime; and more.