Congressman García Joins Resolution Condemning Police Brutality

June 3, 2020
Press Release

Chicago, IL - In response to the murder of George Floyd and systemic police brutality against Black and Latino communities, Representative Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04) joined Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Karen Bass (CA-37), Barbara Lee (CA-13), and 45 Members of Congress to introduce a resolution calling on Congress to condemn the criminalization of marginalized communities. Congressman García also supports transformative legislation to end police brutality, immunity, and corruption. His statement is below:

“The execution of George Floyd and the murders of countless unarmed black men demonstrate the systemic racism that has plagued law enforcement agencies throughout our history. Long before video-evidence, we knew that Black and Brown communities were disproportionately profiled, targeted, and denied justice under the guise of ‘law and order.’ The widespread protests during the last week are the culmination of outrage at 400 years of institutionalized racism in America -- enough is enough.”

“No single piece of legislation can bring back the countless lives lost or erase the legacy of racism, but we must enact policies to prevent future police brutality, hold police officers accountable, and restore confidence in our criminal justice system. We must enact:

  • the Eric Garner Excessive Use of Force Prevention Act, to forbid the use of chokeholds by the police; 
  • the Deadly Force Independent Review Act, to require protocols for investigating any use of deadly force to end an era of secretive, internal department reviews; and 
  • the Ending Qualified Immunity Act, to overrule the Supreme Court construction that government officials, including police, are immune from being sued in a court of law.

“We must also create a national database of discharged cops to prevent violent offenders from being rehired.

“We must end the militarization of law enforcement, which has been on full display in Chicago and throughout the nation. Cops, soldiers, and even immigration enforcement teams carrying military-grade assault weapons were deployed in our cities to disrupt and at times provoke lawful, peaceful protests. Black and Latino communities are already being ravaged by a deadly virus and an unprecedented economic crisis. Now they are being terrorized by militarized police. Law enforcement is sworn to protect all communities, not intimidate, assault, or kill them. To achieve racial equity and justice in America, we must dismantle racially-motivated police brutality while also rebuilding confidence between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve.

“That's why I am proud to introduce this resolution and urge Congress to advance reforms that end the longstanding culture of police brutality in the United States.”

"Black and Latino communities in Chicago have been disproportionately criminalized for generations. We stand against any police brutality and call for greater accountability and guidelines to address the over policing of our communities. Setting these boundaries is a first step, of many, in building stronger and transparent community and police relations,” said Matt DeMateo, Executive Director of New Life Centers.

“From children in cages to unarmed civilians being killed, Black and Brown have suffered at the hands of a law enforcement system that fails to recognize our basic dignity. We need these policies because we need real accountability and a system that values the humanity of Black and Brown communities. Moreover, justice in the Latinx communities is intertwined with justice in the African-American community. We cannot be free until we are all free. Now more than ever, we need Black and Brown unity to demand our elected officials pass these policies that can bring justice to Black and Brown communities,” said Berto Aguayo, Co-Founder of Increase the Peace.

Over the last two decades, the number of police killings has increased dramatically. Since 2013, police officers have shot and killed roughly 1000 people each year. The rise in police brutality, racial profiling and excessive use of force has come at a disproportionately high cost to communities of color. The continued militarization of law enforcement agencies has only further exacerbated and contributed to the crisis of police brutality and violence in communities across the nation.

Specifically, the resolution:

  • Condemns all acts of brutality and the use of excessive force by law enforcement officers and calls for the end of militarized policing practices in our communities;
  • Supports efforts to eliminate the use of force, conduct stringent oversight and investigations and hold individual law enforcement officers and police departments accountable for police brutality, racial profiling and violence;
  • Calls on the Department of Justice to reinstitute its authority to investigate individual instances of police brutality, racial profiling as well as police departments that repeatedly violate civil rights;
  • Supports meaningful local and community led transparency and oversight efforts, including all-civilian review boards with the authority to effectively investigate incidents of police misconduct. 
  • Calls for the adoption of sound and unbiased law enforcement policies at all levels of government to reduce the disparate impact of police brutality and use of force on Black and Brown people and other historically marginalized communities.

Legislative text of the resolution can be found here and a summary can be found here. Text of the Eric Garner Excessive Use of Force Prevention Act can be found here and text of the Deadly Force Independent Review Act can be found here.