Hastings, Frankel, Deutch Urge Immediate Local Action on Police Reform

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Washington, D.C., June 26, 2020 | comments

Following House passage of H.R.7120, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) joined Representatives Lois Frankel (D-FL) and Ted Deutch (D-FL) today in sending a letter to Palm Beach County commissioners and mayors calling on them to initiate policing reforms at the local level. H.R.7120 serves as a clear blueprint for governments at all levels to ensure police are held accountable in the justice system, improve transparency in policing through the collection of better and more accurate data on police misconduct, and improve police training.

The text of the letters can be found below and attached, and were sent to the following officials:

Commissioner Hal R. Valeche, District 1
Commissioner Gregg K. Weiss, District 2
Commissioner Dave Kerner, District 3
Commissioner Robert S. Weinroth, District 4
Commissioner Mary Lou Berger, District 5
Commissioner Melissa McKinlay, District 6
Commissioner Mack Bernard, District 7
Mayor Keith James, West Palm Beach
Mayor Gail Coniglio, Palm Beach
Mayor Shelly Petrolia, Delray Beach
Mayor Steven Grant, Boynton Beach
Mayor Michael Brown, Hypoluxo
Mayor Anne Gerwig, Wellington
Mayor Kristine de Haseth, Ocean Ridge
Mayor Pam Triolo, Lake Worth Beach
Mayor Scott Singer, Boca Raton
Mayor David Stewart, Lantana
Mayor Ronnie Felder, Riviera Beach

June 26, 2020

Dear Palm Beach County Commissioners and Mayors:

Following the shocking brutal murder of George Floyd and others at the hands of police and the overwhelming response for the need for change from Americans across the country and in Palm Beach County, we are writing you to urge immediate action on police reform.

Yesterday, the House passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act: bold, unprecedented reforms to curb police brutality, end racial profiling and eliminate qualified immunity for law enforcement. This legislation will transform the culture of policing to address systemic racism and help save lives as it holds police accountable and increases transparency.

Specifically, the bill:

  • Bans chokeholds;
  • Stops no-knock warrants;
  • Ends the qualified immunity doctrine that is a barrier to holding police officers accountable for wrongful conduct;
  • Combats racial profiling;
  • Mandates data collection, including body cameras and dashboard cameras; and
  • Establishes new standards for policing.

With that said, while we respectfully suggest that this bill offers a blueprint for change, we are urging state and local officials not to wait for passage of this legislation before taking needed action on the local level. In that regard, we strongly recommend that you take the necessary steps to review and change the policy and procedures of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office and local police departments where appropriate.

We believe that reform will be a step towards racial justice and benefit the many good law enforcement officers that serve us everyday.

Sincerely,

Alcee L. Hastings
Member of Congress

Lois Frankel
Member of Congress

Ted Deutch
Member of Congress

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

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