The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) commends the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021 last week.
The epidemic of police brutality continues to plague communities, and especially communities of color, across the nation. This legislation attempts to address this unacceptable epidemic through several important policies such as the creation of a national use of force standard, banning chokeholds at the federal level, establishment of a police misconduct registry, and prohibiting no-knock warrants for drug offenses.
“Since the murder of George Floyd, there really has been no substantial movement at the federal level to curb police violence,” said NDRN Executive Director Curt Decker. “People of color and people with disabilities continue to be murdered by the people entrusted to protect us. This is unacceptable and it’s long past time that Congress heed the calls and wishes of people most impacted by police violence and pass meaningful police reform legislation. While not perfect, this bill puts us on a path to real reform and hopefully the elimination of needless violence perpetrated by the police.”
NDRN is particularly supportive of the provisions on use of force reporting requiring the collection of disability status when forceful action is used by a police officer against a civilian. There does not exist a robust data set which tracks police violence against people with disabilities and thus more formalized collection is needed.
“People with disabilities cannot wait any longer as police continue to disregard their needs resulting in inappropriate and violent encounters,” continued Decker. “The Senate must take up this bill and work with the House to enact the strongest law possible.”
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The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and the Client Assistance Programs (CAP) for individuals with disabilities. Collectively, the P&A/CAP Network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.