FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NPHC George Floyd Justice in Policing Act Statement
Decatur, GA (May 17, 2021) –The Council of Presidents of the National Pan-Hellenic Council stands behind the provisions in the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. The murder of George Floyd and the killings of unarmed individuals since serve as a reminder of the urgent need to not only pass legislation to hold police accountable, but to also change the culture of law enforcement for good, while building trust between law enforcement and the Black community. The House has already passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. Now, we are anxiously awaiting to see the Senate take action and send policing reform legislation to President Biden’s desk to sign it into law.
Representing over 5 million college educated, predominantly African American voters, there are three areas for which our respective organizations intend to advocate to create opportunities for true police reform: 1) Accountability, 2) Transparency, and 3) Policing Practices.
- Officers who recklessly brutalize or kill people should be prosecuted and convicted. There are significant hurdles to prosecute officers for police violence. Current law requires evidence that an officer intended to kill someone. The standard should call for prosecution when an officer is reckless and kills or brutalizes someone. This should make it easier for the federal government to prosecute police misconduct and curb racial/religious profiling.
- If an officer recklessly brutalizes or kills someone, they should not have immunity from lawsuits.
- Police should periodically be required to go through racial bias training.
- The public needs to know if officers are corrupt, dangerous, and/or abusive. This will prevent them from being hired as officers anywhere else by creating a national database of abusive, racist, violent and/or corrupt officers so communities can be aware.
- The results of this data collection should detail the number of persons killed by police each year and the reason for the killing should be shared with the public on an annual basis.
- Ban the use of chokeholds.
- Ban the use of no-knock warrants.
- For state and local governments that do not ban the use of chokeholds or no-knock warrants, federal funds for that jurisdiction should be withheld.
- Require officers to intervene to prevent abuse. For example, those officers who witnessed Derek Chauvin murder George Floyd should be held accountable for not intervening or reporting.
- Require the use of non-lethal weapons where appropriate.
- Require national standards for police departments and officers, particularly as it pertains to excessive use of force.
- Restrict police access to weaponry designed specifically for the military.
- Empower our communities to reimagine public safety in an equitable and just way. Establishing public safety innovation grants to create local commissions and task forces will help communities re-imagine equitable public safety approaches. We believe in advancing alternatives to police responses to behavioral health issues, considering many officers are not trained to handle these situations. Most incidents require trained professionals to serve in these incidences.
Passing comprehensive police reform at the federal level is the first necessary step to addressing the ongoing issue of police brutality.
National Council of Presidents
Dr. Willis L. Lonzer, III
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Dr. Glenda Glover
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Reuben A. Shelton, III, Esq., Vice Chairman
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
Dr. David E. Marion, Chairman
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
Beverly E. Smith
National President & CEO
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Micheal E. Cristal
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
Valerie Hollingsworth Baker
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
Rasheeda S. Liberty
International Grand Basileus
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.
Andre R. Manson
International Grand Polaris
Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc.
The National Pan-Hellenic Council, Incorporated (NPHC) is currently composed of nine (9) International Greek letter Sororities and Fraternities: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. For more information, visit www.nphchq.org or CONTACT: Vanetta Cheeks Reeder, 404-942-3257, [email protected]