The modern LGBTQ movement started as a collective resistance against discriminatory policing that aimed to stop LGBTQ people, especially those of color, from living fully liberated lives. As the nation’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for LGBTQ people, the Human Rights Campaign believes society must be built upon a premise of justice for all.
However, our nation’s justice system criminalizes the most vulnerable and marginalized communities, including Black and Latinx trans women. Police violence is a far too common reality in America, and we all have a responsibility to keep law enforcement accountable.
Repeating the names of Rekia Boyd, Sandra Bland, Oscar Grant, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Botham Jean, Atatiana Jefferson, George Floyd, Daunte Wright, and countless others who have died by police violence should not be a common ritual. It’s now time for Congress to take action so we never have to witness another senseless death or say another name again.
Legislation must reflect the moment we are in. We urge Congress to include ending qualified immunity in all cases, not only those where serious physical injury or death occurs, establishing a national use of force standard that limits force to only when necessary, increasing the U.S. Department of Justice’s authority to prosecute misconduct by law enforcement officers, creating a national registry of police misconduct complaints, declaring prohibitions for law enforcement profiling, ending the transfer of military-grade equipment to state and local law enforcement, banning no knock and quick knock warrants, and restricting funds to law enforcement agencies that do not prohibit the use of chokeholds.
Systemic racism in policing cannot change overnight but passing comprehensive police accountability legislation is a necessary step to deliver change and empower the communities that have been disproportionately devastated by police violence.
The Human Rights Campaign joins our nation’s foremost Civil Rights Leaders in urging Congress to pass a policing bill that delivers meaningful reform and accountability to end police misconduct and brutality.