Press Releases

September 19th: House Judiciary Committee to Hold Hearing on Policing

Washington, DC, September 18, 2019

 On Thursday, September 19, 2019 at 10:00 a.m., the House Judiciary Committee will hold an oversight hearing on policing practices. The hearing will focus on the role of the federal government in addressing concerns about unconstitutional practices, enhancing accountability and in developing 21st century policing practices.

Witnesses:       Gwen Carr, Mother of Eric Garner
                        James Blake, Former Pro Tennis Player, Author, and Analyst for Tennis Channel
                        Ron Davis, Former Director, U.S. Department of Justice, COPS Office
                        Reverend Al Sharpton, National Action Network
                        Phillip Atiba Goff, Ph.D., Center for Policing Equity
                        Chief Vera Bumpers, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Professionals
                        Lynda Garcia, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights 

Date:               September 19, 2019 

Time:               10:00 a.m. 

Location:         2141 Rayburn House Office Building
                        Washington D.C.

Livestream:     The hearing will stream live here.

Background: Federal law prohibits any governmental authority from engaging in a “pattern or practice” of conduct by law enforcement officers that deprives persons of their constitutional rights.[1]Federal law also authorizes the Attorney General to initiate a civil action to obtain appropriate equitable or declaratory relief to eliminate such a pattern or practice.[2] 

A series of deaths of unarmed African-American men while in police custody accompanied by public unrest in Ferguson, MO and Baltimore, MD sparked a movement in the United States demanding transparency and accountability when police use force against civilians. The public outrage over these incidents, most of which were captured on video, catapulted mistrust between police and marginalized communities into the national political discourse. 

The purpose of this hearing is to examine the crisis of lost trust between police departments and the communities they serve and evaluate bipartisan solutions towards repairing and healing the relationship between civilians and law enforcement.

[1] 34 U.S.C. § 12601 (formerly cited as 42 U.S.C. § 14141).
[2] Id.