From the office of Representative Antonio Delgado:
WASHINGTON, DC— Today, U.S. Representative Antonio Delgado (NY-19) voted to pass the Justice in Policing Act of 2020, comprehensive police reform legislation. Rep. Delgado is an original co-sponsor of the Justice in Policing Act.
“Americans in communities of all colors are calling out and demanding action to address racial injustice in our country. Today, the House took an important step in that direction by increasing transparency and accountability in policing. I voted for the Justice in Policing Act to implement needed reforms around law enforcement, and I encourage the Senate to take up these overdue measures as soon as possible,” said Rep. Delgado.
Measures outlined in the bill include amending the mens rea requirement in 18 U.S.C. Section 242, the federal criminal statute to prosecute police misconduct, from “willfulness” to a “recklessness” standard; reforming qualified immunity so that individuals are not entirely barred from recovering damages when police violate their constitutional rights; improving the use of pattern and practice investigations at the federal level by granting the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division subpoena power and incentivizing state attorneys general to conduct pattern and practice investigations; incentivizing states to create independent investigative structures for police involved deaths through grants; and creating best practice recommendations based on the Obama 21st Century Policing Task force. The legislation seeks to increase transparency into policing by creating a National Police Misconduct Registry and requiring that state and local law enforcement agencies report use of force data, disaggregated by race, sex, disability, religion, age. The bill also includes police training and practices to end racial and religious profiling, mandating training on racial bias and the duty to intervene, banning no-knock warrants, banning chokeholds and carotid holds, and changing the standard to evaluate whether law enforcement use of force was justified from whether the force was reasonable to whether the force was necessary. This bill also limits the transfer of military-grade equipment and requires federally uniformed police officers to wear body cameras. The Justice in Policing Act of 2020 makes lynching a federal crime under federal hate crime laws.
Earlier this month, Rep. Delgado penned an op-ed in the Washington Post on his experiences as a black man in America and the importance of leading with love and engaging in democracy through voting.