Lakewood, Colo. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO-07) urged action to address the inequality and injustice exemplified by the murder of George Floyd and which has existed in our society for decades. Perlmutter urges immediate action on several pieces of legislation to address issues such as police brutality, racial profiling, and the use of excessive and militarized force.
“The murder of George Floyd is a terrible, brutal tragedy and should never have happened. Every incident of excessive police force against an unarmed African American or person of color--anywhere – is wrong. Every person in this country, regardless of the color of their skin, should be able to live without fear of discrimination or violence.
“Sadly, for decades there has been a tinder box of racial and social injustice in our country. With the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and many others, tensions have understandably exploded, and it has ignited some real emotions and desire for justice. For too long communities of color have faced criminal, economic, and social injustice, and that rightfully warrants the peaceful protests we’ve seen across the country. Unfortunately, there are those who take advantage of these peaceful protests and use them to instigate violence. And there are others who incite that violence with their rhetoric and actions. Both are wrong.
“Freedom of speech and expression has a rightful place in this country and protestors have a right under our Constitution to act and speak out against injustice – but we cannot let instigators win the day. I continue to ask for restraint from law enforcement and urge protestors to be peaceful. Every community has its own leaders, some of whom are law enforcement officials, who are instilling a sense of unity and calm and finding a path forward with their community, a path that does not include military action or the threat of such action. I ask everyone to look to and support local leaders who are listening and learning and working to find answers and solutions, and to stand up to those who look to only incite further violence and chaos through division.
“This is a difficult moment for us. There’s a lot of work to do in this country as we recover from the coronavirus health emergency and its economic fallout and from the inequality and injustice that exists and the violence and unrest it has uncovered. Together, we have to address these issues now.
“To that end, I have asked House Leadership to call up a package of bills to be voted on immediately.”
- H. Res. 988 - Resolution condemning all acts of police brutality, racial profiling, and the use of excessive and militarized force throughout the country
- H.R. 1714, the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act to prevent the Department of Defense from transferring military weapons such as long-range acoustic devices, grenade launchers, weaponized drones, armored military vehicles and grenades or similar explosives to local law enforcement.
- H.R. 1636, the Commission on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys Act to create a commission to address the long-standing societal gaps that have harmed black men in American, including investigating potential civil rights violations affecting black males and studying and making recommendations on the disparities in education, criminal justice, health, employment, fatherhood, mentorship and violence.
- National De-Escalation of Violence and Community Safety Training Act to provide grants to increase de-escalation of violence training to law enforcement officials, educators, health care professionals, youth programs, and others to help reduce and prevent violence.
- H.R. 4408, the Eric Garner Excessive Use of Force Prevention Act to prohibit the use of chokeholds by law enforcement by amending a civil rights statute to include chokeholds as a “punishment, pain or penalty”.
- Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act to provide incentives for local police organizations to voluntarily adopt performance-based standards to ensure incidents of deadly force or misconduct are minimized and create a National Task Force on Law Enforcement Oversight to consult with professional law enforcement associations, labor organizations, and community-based organizations to coordinate the detection and referral of alleged law enforcement misconduct.