The Feminist Majority Foundation joined the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, along with nearly 400 other national organizations, to send a joint letter to leaders of Congress today calling for immediate federal legislation to deter police brutality against Black Americans.

The letter outlined eight legislative steps Congress should take to address police brutality. These measures are: limiting the use of force only as a last resort, prohibiting actions that restrict blood or oxygen to the brain, prohibiting racial profiling, ending the transfer of military equipment to police, prohibiting no-knock drug warrants, easing the standard for prosecuting civil rights violations, developing a national database for police misconduct, and ending qualified immunity for police officers.

The letter urges Congress to take action and pass sweeping legislation in response to recent acts of police brutality that sparked outrage across the nation. The National Conference also requested a meeting with congressional leadership in the next week.

So far, the response to police brutality sohas only been “cosmetic tinkering.” Instead, the letter stresses that Congress needs to implement substantive structural changes to protect Black communities from over-policing.

The cases of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Dreasjon Reed, and Tony McDade all highlight structural failures that lead to the taking of Black lives. The officer who held his knee on Floyd’s neck had 18 misconduct complaints against him, and was disciplined for two, yet was still allowed to serve on the police force.

Congress has a responsibility to take action to ensure the protection of Black people, according to the letter.

“It is your moral and ethical duty to ensure Black people and communities are free from the harm and threats from law enforcement and to curtail state sanctioned police violence and militarized police responses.”

Sources: civilrights.org

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