June 17, 2020

Cassidy Joins Scott in Introducing JUSTICE Act

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) signed on as an original cosponsor to the Just and Unifying Solutions to Invigorate Communities Everywhere (JUSTICE) Act, a bill authored by U.S. Senator Tim Scott that reforms policing practices in response to the issues of police brutality and racism.

“What happened to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and so many others should never happen again. Policing procedures, especially the use of deadly force, must be reviewed and changed accordingly. I thank Senator Scott for introducing this bill and look forward to working with him to see that it passes,” said Dr. Cassidy.

“Now is the time for reform,” Senator Scott said. “The murder of George Floyd and its aftermath made clear from sea to shining sea that action must be taken to rebuild lost trust between communities of color and law enforcement. The JUSTICE Act takes smart, commonsense steps to address these issues, from ending the use of chokeholds and increasing the use of body worn cameras, to providing more resources for police departments to better train officers and make stronger hiring decisions. I want to thank Leader McConnell and the entire task force not just for their hard work on putting this bill together, but for their commitment to finding real solutions.”

The JUSTICE Act requires:

  • Law enforcement reforms that include use of force reporting, no-knock warrant reporting, incentivizing chokehold bans, and increased penalties for false police reports.
  • Body camera grant programs and penalties for failing to use cameras correctly.
  • Sharing disciplinary records for officer hiring consideration.
  • Making lynching a federal crime. A stand-alone bill to this effect previously passed the Senate unanimously.
  • Establishing a commission on the social commission to report on conditions affecting black men and boys, including education, health care, financial status and the criminal justice system.
  • That the DOJ develop and provide training on de-escalation, implementation and fulfilment of duty to intervene policies.
  • Undertaking a comprehensive review of the criminal justice system.
  • Granting eligibility for recruiters and academy candidates and education around African American history.
  • A study on developing best practices for policing tactics, employment processes, community transparency, administration, use of force, and how law enforcement engage on issues related to mental health, homelessness and addiction.
  • Making it unlawful for federal law enforcement officers to engage in sexual acts while acting under color of law or with an individual who is under arrest, in detention or in custody. 

The full text of the JUSTICE Act is here, and a section by section analysis is here.