Bush Commends Biden Policing Accountability Initiative, Reiterates Urgency to Transform Public Safety
WASHINGTON D.C.— Today, Congresswoman Cori Bush (MO-01) released the below statement following President Biden’s announcement of a new Executive Order on policing:
“I commend President Biden for taking the long overdue step of enhancing transparency and ensuring greater accountability in the American policing system. While today’s executive order is not exhaustive and much more needs to be done, we know that it will help save lives.
“In the two years since millions of us took to the streets in the largest racial justice protests of our generation demanding justice for George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, the House has twice passed legislation aimed at holding law enforcement accountable for abuse and misconduct. And twice the Senate failed to pass it. All the while police killings have reached record highs in this country. All the while St. Louis continues to lead the nation in police killings per capita. All the while, the demands of families and communities affected by police violence have gone unanswered.
“Today’s executive order is a positive step in the right direction, and it represents an inflection point in our collective struggle for justice and accountability. Indeed, today would not have been possible without the Black-led protests around our country that have inspired our nation to imagine a different vision of public safety. This EO puts in place a number of long sought after measures, including: changing the use of force standard, reporting requirements for such force, meaningful accountability procedures for officer misconduct, restricting the transfer of military equipment to local police departments, and much-needed federal effort to provide alternatives to incarceration and reforms to our criminal legal system.
“Most significant for our movement, President Biden has heeded our calls to invest in alternative first responders like mental health and substance use professionals during times of crisis. This order includes a directive for the HHS Secretary and Attorney General to identify federal resources for crisis response programs helps cement my bill, H.R. 4914, the People’s Response Act, as a critical Biden-Harris administration priority.
“This executive order reduces harm, but it alone will not transform public safety. Lawmakers in both chambers must unite and legislate with urgency to address the crisis of police violence in this country. I will never stop pushing until we get this work done. I look forward to continuing the conversation with President Biden, Democratic Leadership, my colleagues, directly impacted communities, and movement partners to save lives and build a safer and more just America for all people.”
Congresswoman Cori Bush sits on the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees, serves as the Progressive Caucus Deputy Whip, and proudly represents St. Louis as a politivist in the halls of the United States Congress.