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June 25, 2020

Rep. Pressley Introduces Amendments to Strengthen Key Tenets of Justice in Policing Act

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) introduced two amendments to H.R. 7120, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, ahead of House consideration of the bill.

The first amendment, co-sponsored by Rep. Justin Amash (L-MI), revises the bill’s qualified immunity provision to fully eliminate qualified immunity and hold all local and state officials accountable The text of this amendment mirrors the Ending Qualified Immunity Act introduced by Reps. Pressley and Amash earlier this month.

The other amendment, led by Pressley and co-sponsored by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), prohibits the use of federal funds for hiring, maintaining, or training law enforcement personnel in elementary schools or secondary schools. This amendment would ensure that the federal government is no longer incentivizing the criminalization of our nation’s students and exacerbating the school to prison pipeline. Moreover prohibiting this use of federal funds would free up resources to support counselors, social workers and mental health services—critical personnel and services that will improve school climate and support student safety and well-being.

“As we work to fundamentally reimagine our criminal legal system, it is critical that we center the people,” said Congresswoman Pressley. “These amendments would help us protect the dignity and humanity of all in community by removing law enforcement from K-12 schools and finally allowing for police, corrections officers, and other public officials to be held accountable for violating our legal and constitutional rights. In this moment of reckoning for our nation, our legislative response must match the scale and scope of the hurt so many are feeling, and these amendments do exactly that.”

Last year, Congresswoman Pressley introduced the People’s Justice Guarantee, a radical reimagining of the American criminal legal system.

Earlier this month, she introduced the Ending Qualified Immunity Act to eliminate qualified immunity and restore individuals’ ability to obtain relief when police officers and other state and local officials violate their legal and constitutional rights. In December 2019, Congresswoman Pressley introduced the Ending PUSHOUT Act to end the criminalization of girls of color in our schools and disrupt the school-to-confinement pathway.

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