FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 25, 2020
Washington, D.C.— the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), issued the following statement on H.R. 7120, the Justice in Policing Act of 2020, which was passed by the House of Representatives today.
Communities of color continue to suffer under structural racism that is deeply ingrained within American society. We can no longer ignore the killing of Black people as an expression of this structural racism and it must stop. Thousands of people across the country from all walks of life, including countless Asian American and Pacific Islanders, have come together to demand change. While we support this legislation; we believe it is a starting point and more needs to be done. We call on the Senate to seize this moment of opportunity to course correct towards justice.
The Justice in Policing Act of 2020 addresses civil rights concerns including, but not limited to: creating a national standard for the operation and use of force of police departments, mandating data collection on police encounters, reprogramming of existing funds to invest in community-based policing programs, increasing the authority for the Department of Justice to prosecute misconduct by law enforcement officers, limiting the transfer of military equipment to local police departments, and eliminating qualified immunity for law enforcement. Yet, we encourage lawmakers to listen to the demands articulated in the Vision for Black Lives. These include but are not limited to:
- taking additional steps in decriminalizing poverty and the deadly war on drugs,
- investing in services that redirect funding for law enforcement towards testing, implementing, and evaluating methods processing 911 calls that reduce contact between law enforcement and community members,
- providing resources for non–law enforcement, community-based violence and trauma interruption models, and
- encouraging district and states attorney offices to report civilian death by an officer to the Department of Justice.
We join our voices to those calling to rebuild and reinvest in the communities most harmed by over-policing, over-incarceration, and other failed policies. Congress must center Black voices and the needs of the Black community in this debate. The House has taken the first step, now is the time for the Senate to follow suit.
Based in Washington, D.C., the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans is a coalition of 37 national Asian Pacific American organizations that serves to represent the interests of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities and to provide a national voice for our communities’ concerns. Our communities are the fastest growing racial/ethnic group in the United States, currently making up approximately six percent of the population.