Today, Culver City Congressional Representative Karen Bass (D-CA) issued the following statement:
“More than 200 days ago, the House of Representatives passed the most comprehensive piece of police reform legislation ever considered by the United States Congress. Since then, communities across the nation have called on the Senate to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. Galvanized by the voices of historic protests taking place in every corner of the nation and in many countries around the world, we sought to act boldly and finally address long simmering concerns of communities who fear the very people who are supposed to protect them – reforms that would bring transparency to policing; reforms that would hold abusive police officers accountable and enhance the profession of policing; reforms that would demilitarize police in our communities and make them guardians of public safety.
“After we passed the bill for the second time in the House, I was approached by the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus to discuss ways that we could move forward and we made real progress in our meetings. When talks shifted to the Senate, Senator Booker and I attempted to engage all parties of goodwill to finally break the logjam there that has stood in the way of historic reform of our nation’s police departments. We developed proposals that we crafted with law enforcement, proposals crafted with activists — we even made proposals based on executive orders from former Presidents. We accepted significant compromises, knowing that they would be a tough sell to our community, but still believing that we would be moving the needle forward on this issue. But every time, more was demanded to the point that there would be no progress made in the bill that we were left discussing.
“Our sense of urgency remains, but this issue requires a re-engagement of the legislative process. With our counterparts unwilling to come to a compromise, we have no other option than to explore further avenues to stop police brutality in this country. I will not ask our community to wait another 200 days. I want to thank the President and this White House for supporting our efforts and allowing us room to negotiate while issuing policies like the one last week that impose strict limitations on when federal officers can use chokeholds and “no-knock warrants”. I now call on President Biden and the White House to use the full extent of their constitutionally-mandated power to bring about meaningful police reform.”