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Historic first step but more to do

Our country has been long overdue for a bold congressional action plan full of federal legislation to stop the persecution and killing of Black people at the hands of law enforcement. Today, I'm proud to have been joined by over 230 of my colleagues in passing the historic, bipartisan George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in the House.

That means limiting use of force by police and holding officers accountable when they break the law. It means increasing access to law enforcement data and compiling a national database of officers with a record of violence. It means ending the terrifying militarization of our police departments.

This crucial legislation will begin the process of holding police accountable for misconduct rooted in our nation's 400 years of systemic racism and oppression of Black people, but we can't stop here. We must continue fighting for transformational law enforcement reform by ending qualified immunity and providing resources for alternatives to policing.

And we must end the catastrophic, immoral War on Drugs, particularly the unequal application of America's hopelessly outdated, unfair, and unnecessary prohibition of cannabis. The War on Drugs has ravaged Black communities through overincarceration and overpolicing. Every day, law enforcement are called upon to enforce racist, outdated, and out of touch cannabis laws. And every one of those encounters has the potential to turn deadly.

We should eliminate this tool that has been so abused by police across America in the active oppression of Black Americans.

I've been leading the fight in Congress to end the failed war on cannabis, and now I'm fighting harder than ever. I'm demanding my colleagues act to make sure that not a single additional Black life be put in jeopardy because of our failed War on Drugs. Read more about my push for cannabis reform to be a part of the conversation about reforming our oppressive law enforcement system on Medium.

We are at a turning point in our nation's history. It's critical that we remain focused, keep up the fight for equality, and end white supremacy in America.



Posted on June 26, 2020.