Power Up: Black lawmakers slam Trump administration on policing, demand changes at Justice Department
"Things have gotten worse since Rodney King and it’s clear that the William P. Barr ‘let’s ignore reality and get tough on protesters’ approach is the wrong way to go. It was wrong then and it’s wrong now,” Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) told Power Up. “He is an individual who has shown such blatant disregard for the law and the Constitution. I think he will go down in history as one of the worst attorneys general ever to hold office — a man who cares nothing about making sure that the people who need protection under the law get that protection.”
“Policymakers, starting with the federal government, must change the policies,” Johnson added. “From a black standpoint, we’ve got to have police reform because we’ve had a knee on our neck since slavery … Even with the election of Barack Obama, we’ve got a knee on our neck. And Donald Trump is standing there, urging a continuation of the same policies and so we’ve got to get rid of him and we can only do so at the ballot box in November.”
Johnson, a member of Congressional Black Caucus, believes there’s enough support among House Democrats to pass police reform, though any changes would likely face an uphill battle in the GOP-held Senate. He’s one of several lawmakers who have offered or reintroduced legislation aimed at addressing police brutality and racial discrimination.