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CEO Action for Racial Equity: Letter to Congress to Advance Meaningful Police Reform
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CEO Action for Racial Equity: Letter to Congress to Advance Meaningful Police Reform

April 1, 2021

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker
United States House of Representatives
1236 Longworth House Office Building Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
Republican Leader
United States House of Representatives
2468 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Chuck Schumer
Majority Leader
United States Senate
322 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Republican Leader
United States Senate
317 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510

Dear Leaders,

CEO Action for Racial Equity is a Fellowship of over 100 companies that mobilizes a community of business leaders with diverse expertise across multiple industries and geographies to advance public policy in four key areas — healthcare, education, economic empowerment and public safety. Its mission is to identify, develop and promote scalable and sustainable public policies and corporate engagement strategies that will address systemic racism, social injustice and improve societal well-being.

Our nation remains impacted by the tragic killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Daniel Prude and many other Black Americans, which have exposed the significant gaps that exist in the application of equality, equity, and justice for all Americans. With the reintroduction and passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act (H.R. 1280) by the U.S. House of Representatives, we are on the verge of enacting transformational police reform. As communities and state legislatures across the country have responded, we are at a moment in history to enact monumental change at the federal level this year.

We appreciate the task now before Congress to secure bipartisan consensus to advance meaningful police reform for the president’s signature. As business representatives in your communities, we urge you, in conjunction with members of law enforcement, and civil rights and civil liberties organizations and other key stakeholders, to work together towards agreement on meaningful policy changes that will protect the public safety of all citizens. Specifically, we encourage all members of Congress to work collaboratively to pass transformational police reform legislation that reflects bipartisan solutions to address issues such as:

  • limitations on the use of force, specifically chokeholds;
  • restrictions on the use of no knock warrants;
  • use of body cameras and other technology to modernize policing;
  • transparency concerning records of police misconduct;
  • law enforcement training and best practices; and
  • federal data collection and oversight related to police reform.

While bipartisan agreement on substantive legislative language may present some challenges, it is notable that there is bipartisan support for most reform concepts such as improved data collection on incidents of police misconduct, use of body cameras and other technologies to modernize policing, resources for de-escalation training and other training best practices. As we urge you to find consensus grounded in evidence-based policies, we share the following set of principles to guide the efforts:

Care & Protection: The primary goal of public safety should be to prevent harm and protect the wellbeing of all citizens and communities, regardless of demographics.

Equity: All individuals deserve to be treated justly without bias or prejudice by our legal and law enforcement systems. To achieve this, laws must be written and enforced in an equitable and racially just manner with a commitment by the law enforcement community to reduce violence, racial bias and disparities.

Public Transparency & Accountability: Public transparency and accountability are foundational to effective policing and community trust building. Policies that establish transparency and clear accountability result in the empowerment of all stakeholders and contribute to solutions that more effectively utilize resources to increase public safety.

Training & Certification: Consistent with our own priorities in the business community, the value of a highly and appropriately trained, ethical, periodically certified and skilled workforce is paramount to any profession. Access to culturally and situationally trained law enforcement professionals supports the safety and well-being of all individuals, including members of law enforcement.

We are not experts in criminal justice or policing matters, but we are committed to working with lawmakers to enact policies that bring equity, transparency and accountability to our justice system.

We appreciate your leadership in advancing transformational and sustainable police reform legislation to the United States of America.

 

Sincerely,

CEO Action for Racial Equity

Cc:
Hon. Karen Bass
Hon. Cory Booker
Hon. Tim Scott