Hirono Joins Colleagues to Introduce Enhancing Oversight to End Discrimination in Policing Act

July 14, 2020, 12:36 PM HST · Updated July 15, 5:47 AM
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Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaiʻi) joined colleagues in introducing legislation aimed at bolstering federal and state government investigations into police departments with alleged “patterns or practice of discriminatory and unconstitutional behavior.”

The Enhancing Oversight to End Discrimination in Policing Act rescinds the Department of Justice guidance that she said has discouraged use of consent decrees to implement targeted reforms in police departments with a pattern or practice of discriminatory policing. Supporters of the new legislation say that in the past three years, the DOJ “has not entered into a single consent decree” to address discriminatory police practices.

This legislation would also allow state Attorneys General to conduct their own pattern or practice investigations of local law enforcement agencies with patterns of abuse and triple funding for DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, including $100 million per year for the next ten years to pursue pattern or practice investigations.

Sen. Hirono joined Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Representative Cedric Richmond (D-La.) in introducing the legislation.

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Cosponsors include: Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn,), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), and Representatives Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.).

Senator Hirono has also cosponsored the Justice in Policing Act, a bill introduced by Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), which aims to strengthen patterns or practice investigations against discriminatory policing and make other critical reforms.

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