Schumer Remarks At Press Conference To Announce The Justice In Policing Act Of 2020

June 8, 2020

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer today spoke at a press conference announcing the ‘Justice in Policing Act of 2020’, new legislation to end police brutality, hold police accountable, improve transparency in policing and create meaningful, structural change that safeguards every American’s right to safety and equal justice. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Thank you, Speaker Pelosi, and I am so proud to be joined by so many of my colleagues, Leader Hoyer, Senators Booker and Harris, Representatives Bass, Clyburn, Nadler, and Jeffries, for joining us and speaking this morning, and all the support that we have from so many wonderful people behind us.

Over the past week, hundreds of thousands of Americans have engaged in peaceful demonstrations against police violence and systemic racism. This large, diverse group—so many of them young—gives us hope that Americans are prepared to march and fight to make this a more perfect union once and for all.

So, today, we are taking the first of many steps—many necessary steps—to respond to this national pain with bold action. As my colleagues will explain, the Justice In Policing Act proposes crucial reforms to combat racial violence and excessive force by law enforcement through strong accountability measures, increased data and transparency, and important modifications to police training and practices. This has never been done before at the federal level.

In the Senate, Democrats are going to fight like hell to make this a reality. Americans who took to the streets this week have demanded change. With this legislation, Democrats are heeding their calls. Now, we must collectively—all Americans—raise our voices and call on Leader McConnell to put this reform bill on the floor of the Senate before July to be debated and voted on.

Now, some Senate Republicans have acknowledged egregious wrongs, but few have expressed the need for floor action. Too many have remained silent. Maybe they’re hoping the issue goes away. I promise them it will not. Democrats will not let this go away, and we will not rest until we achieve real reforms.

Leader McConnell, let’s have the debate—not just on TV and Twitter—but on the floor of the United States Senate.

A divided nation cannot wait for healing, for solutions. The poison of racism affects more than our criminal justice system. It runs much deeper than that. There are racial disparities in housing and health care, education, the economy, jobs, income, wealth, and COVID has only placed a magnifying glass on them.

It is our job—our job as representatives of an imperfect union—to write those wrongs, bring the reality and promise of America into closer alignment.

Equal justice under law is one such promise. That’s what this morning and the Justice In Policing Act is all about—the centuries long struggle to make those words actually true for black Americans and every American.