Congressman Doug LaMalfa issued the following statement after voting against House Democrats’ Justice in Policing Act. While the Democrat bill has some similarities to the Republicans’ police reform bill, the JUSTICE Act, it includes dangerous provisions that would punish law enforcement officers for doing their job.
According to a statement from LaMalfa, House Democrats have refused to work with Republicans on their attempt at police reform. When given the opportunity to allow Republicans to amend the Democrat anti-police bill, the majority has refused in both the Judiciary Committee and on the House Floor.
Specific provisions in the Democrat anti-police bill include:
- Ending “qualified immunity” for police activity, putting officers in danger of being sued by criminals, lowering morale and, with it, officer retention and new recruitment;
- Lowering the threshold for defining police misconduct, making it easier to prosecute law enforcement officers even if the officer had no specific intent to deprive a person of a federal right; and
- Creating an overly broad registry of police misconduct that publicly includes complaints that are not adjudicated and final
LaMalfa said: “Both Republicans and Democrats agree that more needs to be done to modernize our law enforcement and ensure the safety of all Americans,” LaMalfa said. “However, the Democrats have buckled to the radical left wing of their party and have included provisions that stop just short of calls to ‘defund the police.’ Most concerning is the elimination of qualified immunity that would allow criminals to ‘Sue a Cop’ for any reason, opening the door to more civil lawsuits. Making split second decisions is a reality of police work that helps them protect themselves and others. Claims that an officer was acting in good faith or believed their conduct was lawful would not protect them from prosecution.
“What happened to George Floyd was a heinous act of racism that cannot be excused. I’m glad to see his killers are being prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, but their actions as law enforcement officers are not the norm. Every day, law enforcement officers nationwide are laying their lives on the line to protect all of us. This bill endangers our officers, and in turn, everyone.”
LaMalfa is a proud cosponsor of the JUSTICE Act, the Republican bill which would:
- Improve law enforcement transparency through additional reporting, including annual reporting on the use of force and reporting on no-knock warrants;
- Ensure law enforcement officers are held accountable by developing a disciplinary records system, so officers fired for misconduct cannot move to another new position unknown to the new agency;
- Provides funding to assist state and local agencies in equipping all officers with body cameras;
- Limit the use of “chokeholds” except in situations where deadly force is authorized; and
- Improve officer training by directing the Attorney General to develop training related to the “duty to intervene” and de-escalation.