O’Halleran cosponsors Justice in Policing Act

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: Congressman Tom O’Halleran – a former law enforcement officer – has called for police accountability.

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WASHINGTON D.C. – On Tuesday, Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) announced his co-sponsorship of the Justice in Policing Act, bicameral legislation to address police reform by improving transparency, setting standards for accountability, and helping rebuild trust between law enforcement and the communities they are sworn to protect and serve.

“As a member of Congress, I have spent much of my time in the House of Representatives focused on legislation to hold elected officials accountable to their constituents. In cosponsoring this bill, I am joining my colleagues in both chambers to hold another group of public servants accountable to tax-paying American families,” said O’Halleran. “As a former law enforcement officer myself, I know how important it is that those who have sworn to protect and serve are held to the highest standards. Every American deserves to feel safe in his or her community.”

The Justice in Policing Act

  • prohibits federal, state, and local law enforcement from racial, religious and discriminatory profiling;  
  • mandates training on racial, religious, and discriminatory profiling for all law enforcement;
  • requires federal uniformed police officers to wear body cameras, requires state and local law enforcement to use existing federal funds to ensure the use of police body cameras, and requires marked federal police vehicles to have dashboard cameras;
  • requires that deadly force be used only as a last resort and requires officers to employ de-escalation techniques first;
  • bans the use of chokeholds and no-knock warrants at the federal level and encourages states to do the same;
  • and creates a nationwide police misconduct registry to prevent problematic officers who are fired or leave one agency from moving to another jurisdiction without accountability.

“The protection and equitable treatment of all Americans is not a partisan issue,” said O’Halleran. “We have reached a turning point as a nation and no elected official of any political party, at any level of government, can ignore the calls for change sweeping our communities. I am committed to continuing to hear from the citizens of Arizona’s First District and to working with the Congressional Black Caucus to see what is needed next.”

The Justice in Policing Act is expected to receive a markup next week in the House of Representatives.

“Today, as we lay George Floyd to rest, we honor his life and we remember and repeat the names of the countless others we have lost,” continued O’Halleran. “As a nation, we must reckon with the fact that we have failed to fully and unequivocally recognize that black lives matter. In advancing this legislation, I know we can work together and take actionable steps to change that.”

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