Today, Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist released a letter in support of S. 3985, the JUSTICE Act, sponsored by Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.)
You can find the full letter below and linked to here.
Dear Senator Scott,
I write in support of your bill S. 3985, the JUSTICE Act, and urges all Senators to support this legislation. This legislation will improve relationships between police and their communities by providing commonsense solutions to transparency and accountability issues.
The practice of “precinct shopping” by officers who violate the rights of citizens must end. Accurate and transparent reporting of an officers’ conduct, disciplinary actions, and uses of force, will properly inform other law enforcement agencies, who may be considering a new hire.
Transparency measures outlined in the JUSTICE Act will expose abuses of power that destroy public faith in the police. Tensions between police and their communities are a detriment to the safety of both. By requiring reporting on no knock warrants, weapon discharges, and use of force, this legislation will improve police transparency and help restore public faith.
The bill requires federal, state and local units to report use-of-force incidents to the FBI’s National Use-of-Force Data Collection. This includes use of police force resulting in fatality or serious bodily injury to a civilian, as well as events in which a firearm is discharged by a civilian towards an officer and any deaths or serious injuries of law enforcement officials caused by civilians. Accurate, transparent and publicly available data on these incidents will shed light on departments and individuals that fail to provide equal justice.
The JUSTICE Act ends the use of police chokeholds, increases body camera use, and provides training and hiring resources to police departments. The bill will put more body cameras on the streets, which has been shown to reduce violent encounters, and also requires that departments are properly using and storing their body camera data.
The JUSTICE Act is a very strong first step in reforming police behavior towards citizens. Much more needs to be done. For example, police officers must be able to do their jobs and they cannot if their local governments turn them into tax collectors through abusive fines and fees measures and civil asset forfeiture exercised on individuals who have not been proven guilty. That said, this bill is an excellent place to start.
I urge all Senators to support this legislation. Should you have any questions or concerns please reach out to me or Katie McAuliffe, [email protected].
President, Americans for Tax Reform