Press Releases

Hastings Leads Palm Beach Delegation in Introducing the Corey Jones Act of 2016

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Washington, D.C., January 8, 2016 | comments

Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) and the Palm Beach County Congressional Delegation today introduced the Corey Jones Act of 2016, which would prohibit the award of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant funding to local police departments that do not prohibit plain-clothes officers from engaging in routine traffic stops in unmarked vehicles. The legislation is named after Corey Jones, a resident of Lake Worth, who was shot and killed by a plain-clothes law enforcement officer operating an unmarked vehicle during the early hours of October 18, 2015. Please find attached a copy of the legislation.
 
“This common-sense legislation will help keep both law enforcement and the citizens they police safe,” said Congressman Hastings. “Tragic incidents like the death of Corey Jones can easily be avoided by prohibiting plain-clothes law enforcement officials driving unmarked vehicles from making traffic stops. These situations lead to confusion and even confrontation. As Co-Chair of the ongoing Broward Community Policing Roundtable, which works to strengthen and foster relationships between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve, I believe that imposing this requirement on COPS grant recipients will make our communities safer,” further noted Hastings.

“After the heartbreaking death of Corey Jones last fall, I joined our entire community in not only mourning his loss but also looking at what could be done to prevent such tragedies in the future," said Congressman Patrick Murphy. “Following conversations with his family and community leaders, I am proud to join Congressman Hastings in introducing the Corey Jones Act of 2016. I also applaud the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department for enacting changes to their plainclothes officers policy and approving the start of a body camera program this week. We honor Corey’s memory by taking actions such as these to increase public safety and improve trust between law enforcement and their communities.”

“The family and friends of Corey Jones have suffered a heartrending loss, and while no legislation can fill the void left in their hearts by this tragedy, what it can do is spare more families such grief and anguish,” said Congressman Ted Deutch, a member of the House Judiciary Committee. “The community-driven effort to ensure that Corey’s loss is not in vain has already led to meaningful change at the local level. Today, we are carrying forward those efforts at the federal level, and I applaud my good friend Congressman Hastings for leading the way with the introduction of the Corey Jones Act.”

“Last fall, I joined our entire South Florida community in mourning the loss of Corey Jones, a talented musician and dear friend to many,” said Congresswoman Lois Frankel. “It’s our hope that this bill, which bears Corey’s name, will help prevent another tragedy and better the relationship between police officers and the citizens they serve.”

Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Senior Member of the House Rules Committee, Ranking Democratic Member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Co-Chairman of the Florida Delegation.

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