06.02.20

Rep. Takano Statement Condemning Police Brutality and Demanding Greater Accountability for Police

Riverside, CA – Today, Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) released this statement condemning police brutality and demanding greater accountability for police following the death of George Floyd, which has sparked nationwide protests.

“For the past several days, justice-seekers across the nation have been making their voices heard following the tragic death of George Floyd. Many are echoing his plea, ‘I can’t breathe,’ as they protest the loss of yet another Black life at the hands of police. I join the calls for justice and stand with the Black community in demanding change in America – real reform that can transform our justice system and offer true accountability for police misconduct.

“First and foremost, the Minneapolis Police officers involved in the death of George Floyd must face justice. Their arrest and prosecution will not bring Mr. Floyd back, it will not heal the pain inflicted on his family, but it will hold these officers accountable for his death. It is the least that could be done in the face of this grave injustice.

“We must also acknowledge that racist police brutality has gone without impunity for far too long in America. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, are the most recent cases of Black men and women who have died at the hands of police – that we know of. Too often, the results of investigations into these instances of police misconduct amount to nothing and true justice is never served. This cannot, and must not, go on.

“The nationwide protests are forcing many of us to confront the ways in which Black people in this country face higher rates of discrimination, police violence, and injustice. In order to mend the wounds inflicted on our communities by centuries of racial prejudice and discriminatory policies, we must produce real change and create real reform. This starts by denouncing police brutality and holding the police accountable for their actions. 

“I support Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Rep. Barbara Lee’s resolution condemning police brutality, excessive use of force, and racial profiling. This resolution is a way for Congress to affirm that we do not tolerate any of these behaviors by the police, and it calls for solutions to address this systemic injustice. But this resolution is only the first step.

“Congress must assess how to improve our justice system by valuing the lives of Black Americans and ensuring that the police are held accountable for their actions. We have to address why it’s so difficult for police officers to face consequences in our legal system and pass legislation to address this problem nationwide.

“We must demilitarize our police force nationwide and demand better training to prevent excessive use of force and improve de-escalation tactics. The increased militarization of our police has been highlighted in the coverage of these protests. Police officers in full military gear are confronting peaceful protesters and journalists – often exerting unwarranted and excessive force. It is shameful to see police threatening peaceful protesters exercising their First Amendment rights and attacking journalists and our freedom of the press, which is integral to our democracy. This is completely unacceptable behavior – it’s why we need real, bold police reform.

“It is also crucial to hold the Justice Department accountable for investigating instances of police brutality and excessive use of force in a just and fair manner. We must be able to perform oversight over the Justice Department’s practices ensuring that the law is being applied in a way in which real justice can be achieved. The application of the law in these instances should not vary from one administration to the next.

“We must listen to the calls to action from a community that has long suffered, but that has not given up their fight for justice. It is incumbent upon all of us to confront racism in all its forms and implement changes in our institutions, both public and private, to create a better, safer, and more just country for all.”

 

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Press Contact

Dayanara Ramirez (202) 225-2305