Press Releases

Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher Cosponsors Justice in Policing Act of 2020

(Houston, TX) – Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07) issued the following statement after signing on as a co-sponsor of the Justice in Policing Act of 2020, legislation introduced this week by the Congressional Black Caucus to create stronger systems of transparency and accountability in policing across the country and to safeguard every American’s right to safety and justice.

“I am proud to co-sponsor the Justice in Policing Act of 2020 this week, and I am grateful to my colleagues for their efforts to enact thoughtful reforms that will rebuild trust and strengthen relationships between police and the communities that they protect and serve.

“We are engaged in an important and urgent conversation about how to keep our communities safe across the country.  This bill represents years of careful and thoughtful study about systemic improvements that will help keep all Americans safe, including those who enforce our laws.  Banning racial profiling, empowering the justice department to investigate misconduct, collecting national data, increasing training in de-escalation and implicit bias are important, meaningful reforms to move us forward.

“As we examine the failures in our justice system, many are asking us to reimagine the role that police play in communities across the country, including ours in Houston and Harris County.  The call to simply ‘defund the police’ or ‘abolish the police,’ however, is not the right approach, and it is inconsistent with the objectives to create safe communities for all Americans and to ensure equal protection under the law.  

“We have much work to do to still, but at this moment we have the opportunity to implement meaningful reforms through the Justice in Policing Act.  I am glad to co-sponsor this important legislation and to partner with people across our community and our country, including law enforcement, to bring common-sense reforms that will make all of us safer.” 

The Justice in Policing Act of 2020 would:

  • Ban the use of chokeholds and carotid holds at the federal level;
  • Ban no-knock warrants in federal drug cases;
  • Create law enforcement development programs to foster policing best practices;
  • Incentivize law enforcement to meet a gold standard in training, hiring and de-escalation strategies to address systemic biases;
  • Establish funding for state attorneys general to investigate excessive uses of force and police misconduct; 
  • Require the U.S. attorney general to create law enforcement accreditation standard recommendations based on President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century policing;
  • Reform qualified immunity so that individuals are not barred from recovering damages when police violate their constitutional rights;
  • Grant subpoena power to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Civil Rights Division, to conduct pattern and practice investigations; and
  • Establish a DOJ task force to coordinate the investigation, prosecution and enforcement efforts of federal, state and local governments in cases related to law enforcement misconduct.