Warren to Introduce Legislation to Investigate and Hold Police Officers and Departments Accountable for Discriminatory Practices
Washington, DC - United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) will introduce the Enhancing Oversight to End Discrimination in Policing Act to strengthen the federal and state government's ability to investigate police departments with a pattern or practice of unconstitutional and discriminatory practices. The legislation will hold police departments accountable when officers use excessive force and give federal and state governments tools to reform police departments with a history of abuse.
"There is no easy fix for the systemic racism that plagues our policing and justice systems, but we can start with some real accountability. Congress must immediately pass legislation to give the federal government and State Attorneys General the power to hold police departments accountable when officers use excessive force, which disproportionately harms Black Americans," said Senator Warren.
The Enhancing Oversight to End Discrimination in Policing Act of 2020 would:
- Rescind the November 2017 memorandum issued by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, which placed limits on DOJ's ability to enter into consent decrees to reform police departments with a history of unconstitutional and discriminatory policing practices.
- Empower state attorneys general to pursue pattern or practice investigations, providing a critical backstop if the Department of Justice fails to act, and create a grant program to assist states in pursuing investigations and consent decrees.
- Triple funding for the Civil Rights Division, and dedicate $100 million per year for the next 10 years to the Division to pursue these investigations into police departments with a history of engaging in unconstitutional and discriminatory policing practices.
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