Read a PDF of our statement here.

Lisa Cylar Barrett, the Director of Policy at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), issued the following statement regarding today’s Senate vote blocking the motion to proceed on the JUSTICE Act:

“We applaud today’s Senate vote blocking a motion to proceed with consideration of S. 3985, the Just and Unifying Solutions to Invigorate Communities Everywhere (JUSTICE) Act, as this legislation fails to include vital police accountability and transparency measures that over 400 national and local civil rights organizations called on Congress to enact. The JUSTICE Act ignores the demands and calls for reform which have been lifted up by advocates and activists throughout the country as they have taken to the streets over the last several weeks.

“Let’s be clear, moving forward with the JUSTICE Act, which is virtually devoid of measures that would lead to greater police accountability, would not have resulted in the reforms required by this moment. Like many advocates, LDF is calling for meaningful and comprehensive policing reforms that hold police accountable for their misconduct, as well as a reshaping of public safety in a way that prioritizes needed investments in community-based services over punitive and aggressive policing.

“A piecemeal, watered down approach will not address the long-standing issues that have allowed police departments to brutalize and kill Black and Brown people for decades with no accountability. The Senate must directly address these systemic issues with a fierce determination to achieve real reform. We encourage the Senate to move forward with action on S. 3912, the Justice in Policing Act of 2020, which contains many of the components necessary to create long-lasting structural change.”

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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.

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