WASHINGTON – Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R–W.Va., has joined Republican colleagues in introducing a bill that would bring police reform.
The legislation, called the Just and Unifying Solutions to Invigorate Communities Everywhere, or JUSTICE Act, would use a system of grant-related incentives to ensure local and state jurisdictions cease using techniques like choke holds and report data about when an officer uses force or when a “no knock” warrant is issued.
A document provided by Capito offers a breakdown of the bill and what it seeks to accomplish. The bill would increase police access to grants for body-worn cameras and the best possible training related to de-escalation and the duty to intervene.
Further, it would make lynching a federal crime; increase penalties for false police reports; increase access to police records for hiring; assist departments with minority hiring; and create two commissions to provide a picture of the issues black men and boys are facing and to undertake a review of the criminal justice system, the document explains.
On Wednesday, Capito spoke with media members about the legislation. She touched on the need for a police presence, while also preserving civil rights.
“Well, I am concerned with the movement that is, is the de-fund police movement. Uh, I’m deeply concerned about that because I think every police, uh, every, um, citizen of this country, uh, has enjoyed, a, a law and order and a lawful, um, society,” said Capito. “And, we want to have, and, and a part of that, is, uh, a well-run, uh, law enforcement, uh, arm. And, I think that, um, we have, there’s a certain, uh, certain part of our society that’s lost trust in that law enforcement because of what you see, tragedies like, uh, George Floyd or Breonna Taylor just add to that.
“And, so we’re trying to bring about that faith in our law enforcement that we think is necessary. But, the way to do that is to not step back and let people take over six blocks of a city and absolutely destroy, uh, property and jo—businesses that, that, uh, individuals have built up their whole life and create their own law enforcement within that. That, I understand that’s what’s going on in Seattle. Uh, so I think that, um, we need to get both sides together. And, just because we have, uh, strong law enforcement doesn’t mean we can’t have strong civil, um, civil rights, um, protections, as well,” Capito added.
Capito’s full conference call can be heard below: