U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today cosponsored a major reform package intended to improve community safety through police training reforms and greater law enforcement accountability.
Hyde-Smith signed as an original cosponsor of the JUSTICE Act, reform legislation introduced by Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) on Wednesday. Senate leadership intends to bring the bill to the Senate floor for consideration next week.
“The JUSTICE Act begins to answer the growing outcry for all Americans to believe they will be treated equally under the law in their interactions with the police,” Hyde-Smith said.
“An overwhelming majority of law enforcement officers are dedicated to doing their jobs fairly and justly. It is, however, time to build public confidence in that truth through commonsense reforms founded on better training, accountability, and transparency,” she said. “These goals cannot be met by irresponsible demands to ‘defund the police.’”
Among other things, the JUSTICE Act includes: law enforcement reforms, including incentives to ban chokeholds; programs to strengthen training methods and tactics, including de-escalation of force tactics; and strengthened reporting requirements, including best practices for the hiring, firing, suspension, and discipline. (Click to access a one-page summary and section-by-section review.)
The measure also incorporates the following bipartisan measures: Closing the Law Enforcement Consent Loophole Act, National Criminal Justice Commission Act, Justice for Victims of Lynching, Commission on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys Act, and Reauthorization of COPS program.
Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies, the National Sheriffs Association, Sergeants Benevolent Association, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, and various county sheriffs have endorsed the JUSTICE Act.
Hyde-Smith last week also cosponsored S.Res.613, a resolution calling for justice for George Floyd and opposing calls to defund the police. Introduced by Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), the resolution was blocked from consideration by Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).
Release from Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith.