Press Releases

Bacon Cosponsors JUSTICE Act

Act is House Companion Bill to Sen. Scott’s Police Policy Package

Washington, June 25, 2020

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Don Bacon (NE-02) today announced he is a cosponsor of Rep. Pete Stauber’s (MN-08) Just and Unifying Solutions to Invigorate Communities Everywhere (JUSTICE) Act, which is the House companion to the legislation introduced by Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) last week. The bill seeks to increase transparency, accountability, and performance so our nation’s law enforcement officers are better prepared to protect and care for the communities they serve.  

“In the wake of the brutal killing of George Floyd, we have had to personally reflect on our views of race relations and work on legislation to improve the performance of our nation’s law enforcement—the very people who put their lives on the line every day to protect our communities,” said Rep. Bacon. “The JUSTICE Act will do that with common sense police reform, and thorough data collection, ensuring law enforcement agencies and officers are held accountable. We have to work across the aisle and fight for a better relationship between law enforcement and our communities in order to improve the safety and well-being of all Americans. Reforms and protecting the safety of police should not be an either/or decision, but we must achieve both and this is achieved by the JUSTICE Act.”

Rep. Bacon further stated he chose to support the JUSTICE Act over H.R. 7120, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020.

“Unfortunately, H.R. 7120 contains serious flaws because it limits the ability of law enforcement to do their jobs and leaves them unequipped to deal with dangerous or life-threatening situations,” he said. “This limits the tools and procedures police can use in the field including the ability of their departments to obtain surplus material from the federal government.

“In addition, I am concerned about a “misconduct registry” that would be created to publicize complaints against law enforcement officers that lack evidence and may even be false,” Rep. Bacon added. “I support a registry that contains substantiated violations and abuse. H.R. 7120 would also limit ‘qualified immunity’ which allows officers the flexibility and confidence they need to make difficult decisions in extreme and unanticipated situations. Without it, they could be subjected to civil lawsuits and it will be hard to recruit America’s best to serve in law enforcement.”

The JUSTICE Act:

  • Improves law enforcement transparency through additional reporting including annual reporting on the use of force and reporting on no-knock warrants.

  • Ensures law enforcement agencies and officers are held accountable by developing accessible disciplinary records systems.
  • Provides $500 million for state and local law enforcement agencies to equip all officers with body cameras, improve the use of body cameras, and store and retain footage.
  • Bans the use of chokeholds except for in situations where deadly force is authorized.
  • Improves officer training by directing the Attorney General to develop training curricula related to the duty to intervene and de-escalation and appropriates funds to pay for costs associated with new training requirements.
  • Includes the Justice for Victims of Lynching Act, making lynching a federal crime.
  • Creates a bipartisan commission on the social status of African American males to issue a report to Congress on conditions affecting them, including education, health care, financial status and the criminal justice system.

 ###