Kelly Again Opposes Partisan Police Reform Bill that Would Make Communities Less Safe

Mar 3, 2021

Washington, D.C. - This evening the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1280, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021, which is identical to the bill of the same name that passed last June. U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) voted against the measure and released this statement:

"The vast majority of law enforcement officers do a difficult job well and deserve our support, but this legislation does the opposite. Democrats have once again refused to work on bipartisan solutions to address police misconduct, instead choosing to undermine police officers who are working tirelessly to keep our communities safe."

Background

H.R. 1280 is identical to legislation passed during the 116th Congress in the wake of the death of George Floyd. Representative Kelly opposed the bill then and opposes it now because it would, among other things:

  • Eliminate qualified immunity, a legal doctrine that protects officers from liability when they make reasonable mistakes in dangerous situations, but does not shield them from charges for illegal of unconstitutional actions.
  • Create a federal registry of not only police misconduct, but alleged misconduct that has not been adjudicated and finalized.
  • Limit access to the Department of Defense 1033 program, which police departments use to protect officers and serve communities in life threatening situations such as natural disasters or civil unrest.

Kelly is a co-sponsor of Representative Pete Stauber’s (R-Minn.) JUSTICE Act. That bill, which differs in key ways from the Justice in Policing Act, would offer transparency and accountability for law enforcement officers while enhancing their ability to effectively serve our communities.

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