By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Nationally renowned civil rights attorneys Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci today launched a call-a-thon that will run through September 16, asking supporters to call their U.S. Senators to urge them to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. The campaign’s goal is to generate 50,000 calls to senators in 50 hours.
The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, sponsored by Rep. Karen Bass, passed in the House of Representatives on March 3, 2021. The bill is currently stalled in the U.S. Senate due to partisan disagreements on the changes to nationwide policing it would enact.
Supporters of the police reform legislation can visit this website, where they will submit their phone number and be automatically connected to their senator’s office to encourage a yes vote for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
“This call-a-thon gives elected officials on Capitol Hill the push they need to prioritize this great concern to their constituents. It is no longer enough to say they are working on police reform legislation. We need meaningful action now,” said civil rights attorney Ben Crump. “The families of police brutality victims are relying on us so not one more family has to suffer. They deserve better. Passing the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act will save lives and hold police accountable.”
Crump and Romanucci joined several of the families they have represented who have lost loved ones to police brutality to create a video voicing support for the bill. Philonise Floyd, Tamika Palmer, Jesse Brittain, Chelsie Rubin, Dr. Tiffany Crutcher, Alissa Findley, Teena Acree, and Tashyra Prude voice their support for the bill’s passage in the video.
“We are calling for real, lasting change — but we’re running out of time. Every day that goes by and every death that results from police brutality is a life that could have potentially been spared had lawmakers acted sooner. Put partisan politics aside and realize that Congress has a responsibility to address this human rights issue immediately,” said Antonio Romanucci.
If passed, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act would:
• Limit the unnecessary use of force and restrict the use of no-knock warrants, chokeholds, and carotid holds
• Create the National Police Misconduct Registry to compile data on complaints and records of police misconduct
• Lower the criminal intent standard to convict a law enforcement officer for misconduct in a federal prosecution
• Limit qualified immunity as a defense to liability in a private civil action against a law enforcement officer
• Grant administrative subpoena power to the Department of Justice (DOJ) in pattern-or-practice investigations
By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA