Press Releases

Six Photos that Show Congress is Working on Policing Strategies

Washington, DC, September 1, 2016

Members of the bipartisan Policing Strategies Working Group traveled to Detroit, Michigan on August 29-30, 2016 to meet with local community leaders and law enforcement to discuss police accountability, aggression towards law enforcement, and public safety concerns related to these issues. The members who traveled to Detroit to join House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) are House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Representative Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Representative David Reichert (R-Wa.), Representative Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) and Representative Keith Ellison (D-Minn.).

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte and Ranking Member John Conyers issued the following statement on the visit to Detroit:

“Members of the Policing Strategies Working Group had a most productive trip to Detroit to hear from law enforcement, community leaders, and youth on the issues fueling mistrust between law enforcement and the community. Detroit law enforcement officers and community leaders have done much hard work to strengthen this relationship, but it is clear that challenges remain. The working group will hold more roundtables to continue this discussion to determine how best Congress can address these issues at the federal level. Our visit to Detroit has strengthened our resolve to find solutions to this matter of national importance so that mutual trust and understanding will continue to grow.”

On Monday, August 29, members toured the booking station and male and female housing facilities at the Wayne County Jail with Sheriff Benny Napoleon and local law enforcement. Members and law enforcement officials discussed the challenges they face, including officer recruitment, training, retention, funding, and caring for mentally ill inmates.

Rep. Doug Collins meets Sheriff Benny Napoleon.

Members discuss the issues facing the Wayne County Jail with Sheriff Benny Napoleon.

Following the tour of the Wayne County Jail, a reception was held at the Greater Grace Temple with Bishop Charles H. Ellis III, law enforcement, and community leaders. Members learned how the Detroit community is working to build trust between law enforcement and the city’s residents.

On Tuesday, August 30, members held a private roundtable with Kenneth Grabowski, the Legislative Director for the Police Officers Association of Michigan, Kary Moss, the Executive Director of ACLU of Michigan, Kym Worthy, Esq., the Wayne County Prosecutor, Detroit Police Chief James Craig, Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon, Chandra McMillion, a founding member of Advocates and Leaders for Police and Community Trust, and Lindsey Mason, a youth representative for the Citizen Alliance on Prisons and Public Spending. Members discussed the issue of mistrust among law enforcement and the African American community, challenges law enforcement face as a result of budget cuts,  local prosecutors’ growing workloads, and the need to maintain law and order.

Chairman Goodlatte gives opening remarks.

Members hear from the roundtable participants.

Following the roundtable, the members held a press conference. Watch the video here.

Ranking Member Conyers delivers remarks at the press conference.

Background on the Working Group: In July 2016, Chairman Bob Goodlatte and Ranking Member John Conyers announced the establishment of a working group to examine police accountability, aggression towards law enforcement, and public safety concerns related to these issues. The bipartisan working group is in the process of holding a series of roundtables to candidly discuss the issues fueling excessive force used by law enforcement and attacks against police officers. Read Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Conyers’ op-ed on the working group in The Hill here