Convener’s Corner: June 9, 2020

Taifa pensive

 

Justice Roundtable Welcomes “Justice in Policing” Act

Frederick Douglass once said that “Power concedes nothing without a demand, it never has and it never will,” and what we have seen with coast to coast protests is a demand for justice. Young people who have taken to the streets aren’t just protesting the senseless killing of George Floyd and others; they are also issuing a demand for immediate change. Their demand is coupled with the demands of their parents, grandparents and ancestors.

On June 8th Democratic leaders in the House and Senate responded to that demand by issuing a reform bill that would, among other things, ban chokeholds, no-knock warrants during drug raids, racial and religious profiling, and make it easier to hold police accountable for misconduct. The introduction of the “Justice In Policing” Act is a first step. Passage of the bill and enforcement provisions that will actually preempt police misconduct are next steps. And complete systemic transformation is the ultimate goal.

As convener of the Justice Roundtable, while I applaud this initial step, I encourage Republicans in both chambers of Congress to take the necessary measures and pass this bill as a critical component of keeping Black people and all Americans safe. I encourage young people and others to continue pointing the way to justice and urge lawmakers to follow their lead.

The Black community is not only disproportionately impacted by the pandemic of COVID-19; it is also plagued by the pandemic of police violence.  The Justice Roundtable demands that systemic solutions be advanced if past tragedies are to be remedied, and future ones prevented.

 
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Nkechi Taifa is the convener of the Justice Roundtable. An expert in the field of criminal justice, she is President and CEO of The Taifa Group, LLC.

 


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