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Pingree Cosponsors Legislation to Condemn Police Brutality; Develop Programs that Lessen Social Disparities for Black Men and Boys

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) today cosponsored two legislative initiatives to address systemic police brutality, racial profiling, and the use of excessive force against Black Americans. A resolution led by Reps. Pressley, Omar, Bass, and Lee calls on Congress to condemn police brutality, racial profiling, and to take urgent action in response; H.R. 1636, the Commission on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys Act, would create a commission to examine social disparities that affect Black males in America. 

“The murder of George Floyd was not an isolated incident of police brutality against Black Americans. Since 2013, police officers have shot and killed nearly 1,000 people every year, and it is overwhelmingly Black Americans who’ve died. After endless reports documenting excessive use of force,  it is more important now than ever for Congress to step up to condemn racial profiling and police brutality and work to unravel the fabric of inequality that harms and kills Black Americans in this country,” said Pingree. “For George Floyd and too many Black Americans before him who’ve had their lives cut short at the hands of police, I am supporting this legislation to help address and dismantle the well-documented problem of police brutality toward communities of color.”

The House resolution led by Reps. Pressley (D-Mass.), Omar (D-Minn.), Bass (D-Calif.), and Lee (D-Calif.), was introduced today in response to the rise of police brutality across the United States; most specifically and recently, the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police. Police brutality and excessive use of force have exacerbated structural inequities that harm Black people in communities across America. Pingree was an original cosponsor of the resolution, which calls for Congress to condemn all acts of brutality and excessive force by law enforcement; supports adoption of sound, unbiased law enforcement policies across the government; calls on the Department of Justice to reinstitute its authority to investigate individual instances of police brutality and racial profiling; and supports local and community-led transparency and oversight efforts.

H.R. 1636, led by Rep. Wilson (D-Texas), would establish a bipartisan commission in the US Commission on Civil Rights’ office to examine social disparities that disproportionately affect Black men and boys in the United States. Black men and boys in America experience low rates of high school retention as well as disproportionately high rates of joblessness and incarceration; Black men are nearly three times more likely to be killed by the police than their white peers. The Commission on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys will recommend policies and practices to improve on current government programs in ways that will benefit both Black men in America and the nation as a whole.


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