Washington—Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement on the failed vote to advance a bill by Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.):
“On May 25, a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on the neck of George Floyd for almost nine minutes.
Mr. Floyd repeatedly said he could not breathe and pleaded for officers to stop. The officers ignored his pleas, and continued to kneel on his neck until his body went limp.
George Floyd’s alleged crime? Using a counterfeit $20 bill to buy groceries during a global pandemic.
As a nation, we have seen far too many unarmed black men and women killed by police.
Over the past month, millions of people – of all races, ages, and backgrounds – have taken to the streets throughout the nation to protest these killings and to demand real police reform.
We need to respond with legislation that truly meets this moment – a bill that actually holds law enforcement agencies and officers accountable under the law.
Mr. President, the Republican JUSTICE Act is nowhere near enough.
It simply does not impose accountability on law enforcement. Specifically:
Instead of fixing these problems, the JUSTICE Act collects more information and data on problems we already know exist.
We do not need more information, Mr. President. We need to address the underlying issues of systemic racism and police use of force.
That is why, instead of proceeding on this bill, I urge the Senate to engage in good-faith efforts to craft a bipartisan bill that truly holds police accountable under the law.
That is where the Justice in Policing Act comes in. Senator Booker and Senator Harris introduced this bill earlier this month. It should be our starting point.
The bill makes meaningful reforms. For example:
Meaningful reform is long overdue. And rather than rushing a weak bill to the floor, the Senate Judiciary Committee should take up the Justice in Policing Act as soon as possible.
This is how the Senate is supposed to work. We should not be trying to address this important issue by rushing an insufficient bill to the floor. Now is the time for leadership, courage, and real police reform.”