WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Darin LaHood (R-IL) today voted against the House Democrats’ Justice in Policing Act, which federalizes control over policing, does not support the needs of rural communities, and harms the ability of law enforcement officials to do their jobs. Congressman LaHood is a cosponsor of the JUSTICE Act—legislation that will provide meaningful police reforms and provide law enforcement with important training resources. Following the vote, Congressman LaHood released the below statement:
“In the weeks since the murder of George Floyd, I spoke and listened to constituents, local leaders, police chiefs, and sheriffs across Illinois’ 18th District. As a former state and federal prosecutor, I worked with hundreds of decent and fair-minded police officers, sheriff’s deputies, state troopers, and federal law enforcement officers. Most police officers have the best interest of communities they serve in mind, but we can do more to provide a more equitable justice system for all Americans.
“That’s why it’s so disappointing that Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats have politicized this process, accusing Republicans of “covering up murder” and refusing to allow our input in this legislation.
“While I do support some provisions in this bill, I can’t in good faith vote for legislation that eliminates qualified immunity for all law enforcement officials, bans no-knock warrants without consideration of exceptions, and limits access to resources for law enforcement departments. These are complex issues and federal legislation is only one piece of a large solution that will require efforts at the state and local levels. I believe we can find bipartisan solutions and Democrats should reach across the aisle so we can deliver the results many Americans are demanding.”
The Justice in Policing Act:
- Eliminates qualified immunity protections for federal, state, and local law enforcement officers
- Lowers the mental standard for federal civil rights lawsuits to allow officer convictions even if the officer had no specific intent to deprive a person of a federal right
- Limits access to surplus equipment through the Department of Defense’s 1033 program that law enforcement agencies use to protect officers and serve communities in life threatening situations such as natural disasters
- Bans no-knock warrants in drug cases without consideration of exceptions that provide for the safety of law enforcement and the community
Congressman LaHood is a cosponsor of the JUSTICE Act. You can learn more about that legislation here.