Washington, D.C. – Today, Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner; Samaria Rice, mother of Tamir Rice; and John Crawford, Jr., father of John Crawford III, released the following joint statement in support of the George Floyd Justice In Policing Act,legislation to hold police accountable, change the culture of law enforcement and build trust between law enforcement and our communities:
“The unjust killing of a loved one, especially at the hands of law enforcement, is a pain too many families have been forced to endure. We are proud to support this effort because it’s the right thing to do. From banning chokeholds to eliminating no-knock warrants, this bill will hold officers accountable to the communities they serve and compel them to have a guardian mentality, not a warrior mentality. In the valiant pursuit of justice, this is a strong step in the right direction.”
On July 17, 2014, five New York Police Department Officers murdered Eric Garner after tackling him to the ground and putting him in an illegal chokehold. He repeatedly told the officers, ‘I can’t breathe.’ The officers ignored his pleas as he slipped into unconsciousness.
On August 5, 2014,John Crawford was shot and killed by a police officer in a Walmart store in Beavercreek, Ohio for holding a toy BB gun that was for sale in the store.
On November 22, 2014, 12 year-oldTamir Ricewas murdered while playing in a park with a toy gun in Cleveland, Ohio. Today, June 25, 2020, would have been Tamir’s 18th birthday.
Congressional Black Caucus Chair Karen Bass (D-CA), Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Kamala Harris (D-CA), and House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) introduced the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020 on June 8, 2020.The legislation has 231 cosponsors in the House and 36 cosponsors in the Senate.
New endorsements for the bill include leading corporations, law enforcement, major city mayors such as the Mayor of Houston and the Mayor of Los Angeles and celebrities such as Mariah Carey, Rihanna, Mary J. Blige, Lizzo, Meek Mill, Kelly Rowland, Justin Bieber, Miguel, Billie Eilish, Alyssa Milano and Ariana Grande, among others. Leading civil rights and social justice groups such as the NAACP, National Action Network, Urban League and The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights were early supporters of the bill. The full list of supporters can be foundhere.