House Passage of George Floyd Justice in Policing Act Represents a First Step

Statement of Keshia Morris Desir, Common Cause Census and Mass Incarceration Project Manager

Tonight’s House passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act represents an important step toward reforming our broken criminal justice system. But much, much more remains to be done in the days, and months and years ahead to ensure that every American receives equal justice under the law. We hope that this bill will be strengthened in the Senate because we cannot continue to accept this epidemic of injustice. We must reform the system of injustice that treats Americans differently because of the color of their skin or where they live.

George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile and the many before them deserve legislation worthy of their legacies. Inequality in the administration of justice in our nation is mirrored by the inequalities that exist in our democracy. A society that unjustly criminalizes and imprisons so many people – devastating families and communities, and disproportionately policing and punishing people of color and those impacted by poverty – is not a society embracing its foundational creed that everyone’s due process matters.

It is unfortunate that this important step in the fight for racial justice and police accountability will again be shadowed by threats to our lawmakers from would-be insurrectionists again at the U.S. Capitol.