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Waters Statement on Passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

March 3, 2021
Press Release

Waters Statement on Passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1280, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, by a vote of 220-212.

“Today, in honor of every person who was taken from us too soon, I voted in favor of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, and I am so pleased that this bold legislation passed the House of Representatives.

“For too long, we have endured the pain of watching or seeing the deaths of people of color, particularly Black men and women, at the hands of rogue police officers who operate with impunity and take it upon themselves to be the arbiters of life and death. The trauma that our communities feel is only made worse by the ways in which we are forced to reckon with the reality that Black people are over 3.5 times more likely to be killed by police than white people, and Black teenagers are 21 times more likely to be killed by police than white teenagers.

“As I walked to the floor to cast this historic vote, I could not help but think of Rodney King who was brutally beaten on this day, 30 years ago. I could not help but think of George Floyd and Eric Garner who let it be known that they could not breathe before dying. I could not help but think of Michael Brown and Tamir Rice, who had entire lives ahead of them. I could not help but think of Breonna Taylor who was robbed of her opportunity to wake up and continue making a difference in this world. I could not help but think of Philando Castile, Walter Scott, and Freddie Gray. I could not help but think of Andrés Guardado and Dijon Kizzee, two young men from my district whose lives were cut tragically short. I could not help but think of all the people whose names we do not know.

“Justice in policing is needed across the country, and this bill brings us one step closer to achieving that justice. As a nation, we have a historic opportunity to move forward and end police brutality and save lives by banning chokeholds and no-knock warrants, limiting military equipment on our streets, investigating police misconduct, ending qualified immunity, empowering our communities to reimagine public safety in an equitable and just way, and so much more.

“I have long been an advocate for criminal justice and police reform, and today’s vote brings us one step closer to the type of sweeping change that is necessary. While there is still more work to be done, I urge my colleagues in the Senate to act with the urgency and commitment that this issue requires.”

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