The mural Tony Cárdenas is walking in front of is an iconic piece of art. The mural features Cesar Chavez, the founder of the National Farm Workers Association, as well as other celebrated figures, including Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, and Robert Kennedy. Years ago, vandals defaced this colorful, 100-foot long mural in the San Fernando Valley. The community sprang to action to repair it.
The current climate requires us to spring into action. Last week, Tony Cárdenas joined over 100 Members of Congress as a cosponsor of the Justice in Policing Act of 2020.
The Justice in Policing Act of 2020:
- Prohibits federal, state, and local law enforcement from racial, religious and discriminatory profiling, and mandates training on racial, religious, and discriminatory profiling for all law enforcement.
- Bans chokeholds, carotid holds and no-knock warrants at the federal level and limits the transfer of military-grade equipment to state and local law enforcement.
- Mandates the use of dashboard cameras and body cameras for federal offices and requires state and local law enforcement to use existing federal funds to ensure the use of police body cameras.
- Establishes a National Police Misconduct Registry to prevent problematic officers who are fired or leave on agency from moving to another jurisdiction without any accountability.
- Amends federal criminal statute from “willfulness” to a “recklessness” standard to successfully identify and prosecute police misconduct.
- Reforms qualified immunity so that individuals are not barred from recovering damages when police violate their constitutional rights.
- Establishes public safety innovation grants for community-based organizations to create local commissions and task forces to help communities to re-imagine and develop concrete, just and equitable public safety approaches.
- Creates law enforcement development and training programs to develop best practices and requires the creation of law enforcement accreditation standard recommendations based on President Obama’s Taskforce on 21st Century policing.
- Requires state and local law enforcement agencies to report use of force data, disaggregated by race, sex, disability, religion, age.
- Improves the use of pattern and practice investigations at the federal level by granting the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division subpoena power and creates a grant program for state attorneys general to develop authority to conduct independent investigations into problematic police departments.
- Establishes a Department of Justice task force to coordinate the investigation, prosecution and enforcement efforts of federal, state and local governments in cases related to law enforcement misconduct.
This is just one step towards making a difference in the community. Change must happen at many levels. Every member has a voice and can work to make change. The current climate requires us to spring into action. Use your voice. Be heard and don’t forget to VOTE!