Kelly Votes Against Partisan Police Reform Bill that Would Make Communities Less Safe

Jun 25, 2020

Washington, D.C. - Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, legislation authored by House Democrats. Representative Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) voted against the measure and released this statement:

"In times like these, it is imperative that Republicans and Democrats come together on reforms that unify and prevent future tragedies like the death of George Floyd and many others.  Unfortunately, by refusing to work on bipartisan solutions to address police misconduct, Speaker Pelosi is delaying the change we all agree must come. Our goal and obligation must be to improve and fund police training, support good officers, and hold bad officers accountable, but this bill would make our communities less safe by preventing good officers from serving their communities effectively."

Background

Representative Kelly opposed the Justice in Policing Act 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, the House companion legislation of Senator Tim Scott’s bill originally introduced in the Senate. That bill, which differs slightly but 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, a hard job that the vast majority of police officers do well and with integrity.