Garcia helps introduce police reform bill aiming for training and transparency

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Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, announced Thursday the Just and Unifying Solutions to Invigorate Communities Everywhere, or JUSTICE Act, a police-reform bill focused on training methods and acting on concerns of systemic racism. 

The 106-page bill looks to add nearly a dozen new requirements in policing after the death of George Floyd on Memorial Day which has sparked a national outcry for reform law enforcement departments across the U.S. 

“Now is the time for us to have a serious and open dialogue about what meaningful reforms to community policing look like,” said Garcia in a prepared statement. “The vast majority of law enforcement officers are upstanding individuals that serve their local communities with honor. However, the horrific actions of the few have unfortunately cast a negative impression over all who stand watch along the thin blue line.” 

The proposal was brought forth by Sen. Tim Scott, R-South Carolina, and other co-sponsored by Garcia and other Senate Republicans. Democrats, which introduced the Justice in Policing Act last week, have said the GOP bill could end practices like the chokehold but not ban them.  

The Justice Act’s measures include: 

  • Strengthening training methods and tactics, especially regarding de-escalation of force and the duty to intervene and end the practice of chokeholds. 
  • Reforming hiring practices by providing more resources and offer access to candidates’ prior disciplinary records. 
  • Adding more body cameras. 
  • Classifying lynching as a federal crime. 
  • Creating two commissions to study and offer solutions to a broader range of challenges facing black men and boys, and the criminal justice system as a whole.

“Collectively, our hearts are heavy right now, and our communities are crying out for real solutions. It is imperative that we, as elected officials, listen carefully and work diligently to find those solutions so that our country can continue to mature and our communities can continue to heal,” said Garcia. 

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