JUSTICE Act is an Injustice to the Black Lives Matter Movement

For Immediate Release: June 24, 2020
Contact: Lee Morrow, lmorrow@networklobby.org, 202-601-7871

JUSTICE Act is an Injustice to the Black Lives Matter Movement
Sr. Simone: “The JUSTICE Act does not protect Black lives, and the Senate must reject it.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The JUSTICE Act introduced by Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) falls woefully short of what is needed to respond appropriately and decisively at this moment in our country. NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice asks Senators to reject the so-called “JUSTICE Act” and instead take up truly transformational legislation like the Justice in Policing Act.

While Black and brown people lose their lives at the hands of the police, the JUSTICE Act does nothing to create real justice and keep our neighbors safe. It offers suggestions that police refrain from using deadly force, choke-holds and other such death-dealing physical restraints instead of prohibiting them. It allows police forces to use military equipment against our own communities. It increases funding for the police, fails to revoke qualified immunity, and does not prohibit use of no-knock warrants. It provides no mechanisms to hold police accountable when they break the law.

The JUSTICE Act is fundamentally flawed, and the Senate should look to The Justice in Policing Act, introduced by Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), in order to move forward. The Justice in Policing Act meets the moment and will save lives, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell must take up that legislation immediately.

Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, Executive Director of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice said:

“The so-called ‘JUSTICE Act’ is an injustice to the tens of thousands of Americans who are making abundantly clear that Black Lives Matter. This bill would not end choke-holds. It would provide no accountability for police officers who break the law. It would not stop police from using grenade launchers, military aircraft, machine guns, and tanks on members of our communities. The JUSTICE Act does not protect Black lives, and the Senate must reject it.

“Instead, Senator McConnell should take up the Justice in Policing Act that responds to the demands of the Black Lives Matter movement and the urgent needs of our time. Now is the time for lawmakers to pass meaningful police reform legislation that protects Black communities from the systemic threats of over-policing, police brutality, misconduct and harassment.”

Joan Neal, Strategic Advisor and Senior Government Relations Fellow, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice said:

“The current moment offers this country an historic opportunity to make transformational change in the way we envision and ensure public safety for everyone, and we must not accept half measures like the JUSTICE Act. We need a fundamental change in policing culture, one that recognizes the dignity of every human person and holds law enforcement accountable for their actions. We need an end to the adversarial rather than service relationship with Black people. And we need increased investments in under-resourced communities that provide the same opportunities to thrive that other communities already enjoy. Now is the time. We urge Congress to swiftly rectify the legacy of white supremacy and racism in public safety. The people are demanding substantive change and Congress must respond.”

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NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice – advocates for justice inspired by Catholic Sisters – educates, organizes, and lobbies for economic and social transformation. They have a nearly 50-year track record of lobbying for critical federal programs that support those at the margins and prioritize the common good. www.networklobby.org