(WM) In an official press release, the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund has expressed its support for the Justice in Policing Act, a congressional measure designed to address the intertwinement of police brutality and systemic racism.
The Justice in Policing Act, introduced by Congressional Black Caucus Chair Karen Bass, Sens. Cory Booker and Kamala Harris and House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler, has been described as “the first-ever bold, comprehensive approach to hold police accountable, change the culture of law enforcement and build trust between law enforcement and our communities.”
Some of the changes the measure seeks to enact include “[a ban on] the use of chokeholds and other deadly tactics by law enforcement officials, [a] ban on police profiling based on race and other categories and changing the legal standard to make it easier to hold police accountable for misconduct when they use deadly force.”
The National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund believes that the Justice in Policing Act will serve as an effective agent of change in the fight against racial inequality, which is why they have pledged their support for the act.
“The Justice in Policing Act is a critical step towards unraveling the systemic racism embedded within law enforcement,” Rea Carey, executive director of the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund said. “We are committed to continue working alongside our partners in the racial justice movement to build support for this legislation.”
Part of the Task Force Action Fund’s motivation in devoting themselves to racial justice stems from the violence that has been plaguing the black community in the United States in recent months.
“The senseless deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and so many others have inspired an unprecedented movement against anti-Blackness,” Carey said.
The other aspect of this motivation originates from racial disparities that the Task Force Action Fund has observed in transgender-based research over time.
In a 2015 study conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality, “58% of transgender people who contacted the police reported some form of mistreatment, such as harassment, misgendering and assault. This number increases to 61% when looking specifically at the experience of Black transgender respondents.”Additionally, “57% of all respondents said they would be uncomfortable asking the police for help[.] [T]hat rate increases to 67% when looking specifically at Black respondents.”
Similarly, in 2011, the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund and the National Center for Transgender Equality found in their National Transgender Discrimination Study that “38% of Black transgender and gender non-conforming people who had interacted with the police reported harassment, 14% reported physical assault and 6% reported sexual assault.”
Co-sponsors of the Justice in Policing Act include House of Representatives members Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Majority Whip James Clyburn.
Civil rights groups that have also expressed support for the act include the NAACP, the National Urban League and the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation.
The National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund is a social justice organization dedicated to “conduct[ing] grassroots organizing and lobbying on legislation and ballot initiatives to achieve justice for LGBTQ people.”