Rep. Johnson reintroduces Police Accountability Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04) reintroduced the “Police Accountability Act” – H.R. 1102 – which would expand the Department of Justice’s authority to investigate wrongdoing by police by making it a federal crime for police officers to commit murder and manslaughter.

“In the wake of recent events in New York, New Jersey, Ohio, and Missouri, it has become clear that some police officers don’t follow the law when acting in the line of duty,” said Johnson. “Police killings of unarmed civilians have got to stop. The “Police Accountability Act” will help ensure a more thorough review of cases involving law enforcement officers.”

While the Department of Justice (DOJ) has the ability to conduct criminal civil rights investigations, the standard of proof in these types of cases is problematically high, making it very difficult to convict individuals for violating the civil rights of their victims.

Expanding authority under the “Police Accountability Act” would enable the DOJ to conduct murder investigations and bring charges in the event that states fail to do so. This way, civil rights investigations, while encouraged, would not be the only mechanism to necessary to hold police accountable. 

Original cosponsors include: Rangel, Holmes Norton, Ellison, Rush, Bass, Chu, Thompson (MS), Wilson, B. Lee, Grijalva, Cleaver and is supported by The National Action Network and National Urban League.