Law Enforcement Reform

As your federal representative, I am working on and evaluating numerous pieces of legislation to correct past injustices and reform our legal system.  The horrific killing of George Floyd, and others, at the hands of police officers entrusted to do what’s right, validates and accentuates what's wrong within our criminal justice system.  While we are seeing protests in the streets, it is past the time for Congress to officially acknowledge the past wrongs, account for the present issues, and act on real reform for the future of our legal system. 

I am original cosponsor of the Justice in Policing Act of 2020. Although no single bill will erase systemic racism, it is past time for Congress to create structural changes within our law enforcement system with meaningful legislation.  Led by the efforts of the Congressional Black Caucus, this bill is expected to soon be considered by the House Judiciary Committee under the guidance of Chairman Jerry Nadler (NY-10) for a markup and then go to the full House of Representatives for a vote on passage.  

Full text of the Justice in Policing Act of 2020 is available here.

I am also a cosponsor of the Police Training and Independent Review Act. This legislation provides federal funding to states that require law enforcement academies to provide sensitivity training on ethics and racial bias, cultural diversity, and police interaction with the disabled, mentally ill, and new immigrants This bill also incentivizes states to adopt laws requiring independent investigations and prosecutions of law enforcement officers in cases where one or more of the alleged offenses involves an officer's use of deadly force in the course of carrying out his or her official duties.

More on Law Enforcement Reform

March 3, 2021 Press Release

Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) voted in support of the House passage of H.R.1280, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.  This bill will better hold law enforcement officials accountable for misconduct, bolster transparency through data collection pertaining to unlawful behavior and negligent use of force, and improve police training and department policies nationwide.

June 25, 2020 Press Release
Today, Congressman Panetta (D-CA-20) released the following statement in response to the passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, H.R. 7120, which passed the House by 236 to 181. This bill would better hold law enforcement officials accountable for misconduct, bolsters transparency through data collection and accuracy on wrongdoings and negligent use-of-force, and improves police training and policies.
June 8, 2020 Press Release

SALINAS, CA – Today, Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) announced that he is an original cosponsor of the Justice in Policing Act of 2020.  The bicameral legislation was introduced today in the House by Congressional Black Caucus Chair Congresswoman Karen Bass (CA-37) and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), and in the Senate by Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA).