Tammy Duckworth Moves to Help Restore Trust Between Law Enforcement and Communities & Provide Justice to Families
From a Black family violently held at gunpoint in Phoenix, AZ, to an officer fatally shooting a Black man last weekend in South Bend, IN, there continues to be a rash of police-related incidents that have led to accusations of police misconduct and racism. In light of incidents such as these -- and many, many others -- people of color continue to express concern that they are subjected to different and often harsher treatment by law enforcement. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) has introduced legislation that she says would help restore trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve by helping prevent police-involved deaths and encourage independent, impartial investigations into law enforcement officials’ use of deadly force. The Police Training and Independent Review Act would create a financial incentive for states to require training for law enforcement officials on fair and impartial policing as well as best practices for working with members of the community who are disabled and mentally ill. The bill would also encourage communities to use independent prosecutors to investigate law enforcement officials’ use of deadly force by authorizing the Attorney General to award grants to states that require an independent investigation and, if warranted, prosecution in cases where one or more of the alleged offenses result in death or serious bodily harm. “We’ve lost too many young men and women—from Chicago to Champaign to Ferguson and around the nation—in tragic and preventable police-involved deaths,” said Duckworth. “Families like Laquan McDonald’s that have experienced heartbreak are no less deserving of justice than any other family, but too often they don’t get it. The vast majority of our nation’s law enforcement officers do their best each day to protect and serve their communities.” More here.