Today, the United States House of Representatives voted to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021 (H.R. 1280). The bill now moves onto the United States Senate. In reaction to the vote, Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), issued the following statement:
“For the second time in a year, the House of Representatives has passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, one of the most consequential measures ever undertaken to address head-on the demand for transparency and accountability in law enforcement. Its passage is the result of years of work by activists in communities around the country, civil rights groups, and, most importantly, the families of those who have been the victim of unconstitutional police violence.
“The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act is a vital public safety measure. The core of the bill are measures that clear away barriers to holding law enforcement officers accountable for brutality and misconduct. It is fitting that the bill passes the House just one week before the start of the criminal trial for the officer who killed Mr. Floyd.
“While we are encouraged by tonight’s vote, our attention now turns to the United States Senate – where this same bill failed to advance last year. This cannot happen again. We must have nationwide standards for public safety and to improve our systems of accountability for law enforcement officers who commit misconduct in the ways that the federal government is uniquely empowered to do so.
“We call on the Senate to do its part and immediately take up and pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. President Biden has already indicated that he is prepared to sign the bill when it reaches his desk.”
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.