Carbajal joins House’s effort against police brutality
U.S. Reps. Ayanna Pressley, D-Boston, and Ilhan Omar, D-Minneapolis, introduced a congressional resolution Tuesday against police brutality, racial profiling and excessive use of force.
U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara, signed onto the resolution, according to a staffer.
“For too long black and brown bodies have been profiled, surveyed, policed, lynched, choked, brutalized,” Ms. Pressley said during a speech at the Massachusetts State House in Boston on Tuesday.
According to a CBS affiliate in Boston, the resolution called for the House of Representatives to adopt reforms and policies including “efforts to improve oversight and independent investigations to hold individual law enforcement officers and police departments accountable.”
The resolution also called for civilian review boards to investigate police misconduct and for the adoption of policies at all levels of government that “reduce the disparate impact of police brutality racial profiling and use of force on black and brown people, and other historically marginalized communities.”
It also asked the Department of Justice to investigate individual cases of police violence.
“The Congressman (Mr. Carbajal) is considering all possible legislative solutions to the underlying inequalities prevalent in our criminal justice system. As a first step, he’s signed onto Rep. Ayanna Pressley’s resolution condemning racial profiling and excessive use of force by law enforcement,” a spokesperson for Mr. Carbajal said in an email.
“Black lives matter. I’m proud to cosponsor Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley’s resolution to condemn racial profiling and excessive use of force by police officers,” Mr. Carbajal said in a statement on Facebook.
On Monday, Mr. Carbajal criticized President Donald Trump’s characterization of protestors as “thugs” and his threat to deploy the military to quell the protests.
“President Trump has never served a day in uniform,” Mr. Carbajal said. “I have. As a veteran, I am horrified that the President is threatening to turn our service members against civilians. Using our military to threaten and silence protesters is antithetical to American values.”
On Sunday, Michigan Rep. Justin Amash announced he will introduce a bill to end qualified immunity for law enforcement officers to “restore Americans’ ability to obtain relief when police officers violate their constitutionally secured rights.”
According to a Cornell Law School article, qualified immunity protects law enforcement officers and other government officials from lawsuits that allege the official violated the plaintiff’s rights, unless the plaintiff can prove the official violated a clearly established statutory or constitutional right. Courts determine whether a right is clearly established by asking whether a reasonable official would have known that the defendant’s conduct violated the plaintiff’s rights.
On Tuesday, Mr. Amash, a Republican-turned-independent, said the text of the bill will be available “shortly” in a statement on Twitter.
“Police must not be immune from liability when they break the law,” Mr. Amash said.
A spokesperson for Mr. Carbajal said the Congressional Black Caucus has taken the lead on police reform.
“The Congressman is closely monitoring that effort, as well as studying additional legislation such Rep. Amash’s bill to end qualified immunity,” the spokesperson said.