The blatant disregard for human life, especially Black lives, is on display once again in our country’s police departments. This time in Kenosha, Wisconsin and Lafayette, Louisiana. Both men were shot in the back by police officers. Jacob Blake is paralyzed from the waist down and Trayford Pellerin is dead.
The shootings of Jacob Blake and Trayford Pellerin are yet again two tragic incidents of police brutality against Black people in America.
In the letter, the Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), urged Leader McConnell to heed the calls of the American people for urgent reform in our police departments.
“On behalf of the Congressional Black Caucus, the millions of Americans we represent, and the countless more who demand justice and peace, I write today to implore you to bring the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to the floor of the Senate for a vote,” said Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA). “How many more mothers and fathers must mourn the loss of a child to police violence? How many more children must be raised without a parent lost to police violence? How many more videos must we watch before you will act? Enough is enough.”
Over two months ago, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act passed in the House of Representatives with bipartisan support. This transformative legislation would hold police officers accountable and ensure the culture and training of law enforcement is grounded in protecting and serving all communities. The Congressional Black Caucus championed the passage of this bill in the House and has long fought for policing reform as part of our broader criminal justice reform efforts. This is evident in the policies included in the Justice in Policing Act that were originally championed by our founding members.
While the House has answered the public outcry against police brutality, Leader McConnell has refused to hold a vote on this critical bill. He and President Trump seem more concerned with vilifying outraged communities than addressing the root causes of their real and legitimate frustration: state-sanctioned violence, fear, and grief. Since the murder of George Floyd, we have witnessed several instances of police brutality across our country: Rayshard Brooks, Trayford Pellerin, Jacob Blake, and too many more. Meanwhile, Breonna Taylor’s murderers are still free. Black Americans continue to be shot and brutally injured at the hands of law enforcement with complete impunity.
We call on Leader McConnell to stand with us on the right side of history and advance meaningful policing reform through the Senate. The time is long overdue to finally put an end to police violence in Black communities in America.Read the full letter here.