Home > news > Press Releases

Press Releases

Upton cosponsors JUSTICE Act

Bicameral legislation aims to provide long-term solutions on police reform, accountability, and transparency

f t # e
Washington, June 18, 2020 | Josh Paciorek (202-225-3761) | comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, today announced he was an original cosponsor of the Just and Unifying Solutions to Invigorate Communities Everywhere (JUSTICE) Act, bicameral legislation that aims to provide long-term, bold solutions on police reform, accountability, and transparency. The legislation was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) and in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Pete Stauber (R-MN).

“It’s past time for action, and the JUSTICE Act represents the most bold, meaningful reforms in law enforcement that we’ve seen in our lifetimes,” Upon said. “The three pillars of this legislation – increasing training, accountability, and transparency – are necessary as we aim to rebuild trust between law enforcement and communities of color. In my discussions with community leaders and law enforcement and at the peaceful protests I’ve marched in, folks are demanding action. So, if we want to make a  law – and not just a point – Senator Scott’s and Rep. Stauber’s JUSTICE Act represents a serious proposal to end racial injustice in law enforcement and build a safer nation for all Americans.”

 

The JUSTICE Act, among other reforms, ends the use of chokeholds, increases the use of body cameras, and provides additional resources for law enforcement to improve officer training and tactics, especially regarding de-escalation of force.

A summary is below, and you can click here for the bill text.

Law Enforcement Reform

  • The JUSTICE Act strengthens the training methods and tactics throughout law enforcement jurisdictions, especially regarding de-escalation of force and the duty to intervene, providing law enforcement with new funding to do so, and will also end the practice of utilizing chokeholds
  • Additionally, the bill will reform hiring practices by providing more resources to ensure the makeup of police departments more closely matches the communities they serve
  • The JUSTICE Act also ensures when a candidate is interviewed, the department looking to hire will have access to their prior disciplinary records
  • Too often, after a tragic incident, we have learned the offending officer had a disciplinary past in another jurisdiction of which their current employer was unaware

Accountability

  • Studies show that when body cameras are properly used violent encounters decrease significantly
  • The JUSTICE Act will put more body cameras on the streets, and ensure that departments are both using the cameras and storing their data properly
  • JUSTICE also requires a report establishing best practices for the hiring, firing, suspension, and discipline of law enforcement officers

Transparency

  • Currently, only about 40 percent of police officers from jurisdictions nationwide report to the FBI after an incident where an officer has discharged his or her weapon or used force
  • The bill will require full reporting in these two areas
  • There is also very little data as to when, where and why no knock warrants are used, and the JUSTICE Act will require reporting in this area as well

Additional Steps

  • The JUSTICE Act will finally make lynching a federal crime
  • It also creates two commissions to study and offer solutions to a broader range of challenges facing black men and boys, and the criminal justice system as a whole
f t # e

Stay Connected

Office Locations