The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, a broad police “reform” bill aimed at combating “systemic bias” in police forces, has been supported by the Biden administration.
HR 1280, introduced by California Democratic Rep. Karen Bass, was approved by the House on Wednesday. Last year, the House passed a similar bill, but it died in the Senate. It’s possible that the latest bill will meet the same fate.
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The bill was named after a black man who died in police custody in May after a Minneapolis cop knelt for nearly nine minutes on his stomach. Floyd’s death sparked nationwide protests and violent riots across the United States last summer.
In an article published on the legal blog Liberty Unyielding, Washington lawyer Hans Bader examined HR 1280.
It “could lead to more ethnic and sexual profiling, such as gender-based stops of female motorists,” according to Bader, as well as “could actually trigger institutional racism and sexism.” (Italics added.)
According to Bader, this bill “encourages police forces to enact quotas for ‘traffic arrests,’ ‘pedestrian stops,’ and ‘interviews’ based on gender and race.” In practice, this will allow police officers to stop unarmed women, Asians, and whites in order to fulfill quotas based on gender and ethnicity. The Justice Department could prosecute police departments if they don’t meet these quotas.
Furthermore, “Section 311 of the Act prohibits what it refers to as ‘racial discrimination.'” In Section 302(a)(6) of the bill, this is specified to include not only race but also “gender.” But it describes ‘profiling’ in such a crudely mechanical way that, rather than outlawing it, it simply promotes it,” he said.
“Under the bill, what counts is statistics and ethnic bean-counting, not actual bigotry or sexism,” Bader said. The effect of race or gender on police stops or interviews — for example, stopping more men than women or questioning more blacks than Asians or whites — is described as “prima facie evidence” of a “violation.”
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“This ensures that a prosecutor will deem a police department in breach of the Act based solely on statistics. In the absence of proof to the contrary by the party being sued, which carries the burden of proving itself innocent, prima facie evidence is a legal concept that means the individual suing has given ample evidence to prove something.”
In layman’s words, Bader gave examples.
Men, on average, commit more crimes than women. They also drive faster and break traffic laws more often.
On average, Asian-Americans commit fewer crimes than whites, and both groups commit fewer crimes per capita than blacks.
Even so, if a police officer stops more men than women, or more black people than white or Asian people, he or she can be found in violation of the bill’s terms.
How many officers will be found in breach if they simply stopped cars they suspected of breaking the law — speeding, driving recklessly or erratically, and so on? Or if they just went after those they suspected of committing a crime?
The majority of them, to be precise.
Sexual or ethnic profiling will be their fault.
To comply with the rule, officers will have to stop women at the same pace as men, even though they were not breaking the law. The same may be said for various ethnic groups.
Bader cited the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Armstrong, which found that “crime rates vary by race.” As a new federal analysis of violent crime indicates, arrest rates vary by race. Despite this, the bill considers stopping fewer Asians than whites, or fewer whites than blacks, to be suspicious,” he said.
Naturally, “under the amendment, all police officers everywhere are presumed to be guilty.”
And this will have real-world ramifications. Bader speculated about what officers might expect if the bill passes.
“The bill does not clarify how they would rebut this presumption of guilt or demonstrate their innocence,” he said. “Police departments will have an incentive under the bill to stop only as many men as women — even if more men are speeding or committing crimes — and to adopt racial quotas in police stops if they want to avoid being sued and being forced to pay the attorneys fees and expert-witness costs of the person suing them.
“This could jeopardize road safety by allowing cops to overlook speeding or other offenses simply because they were committed by people of a certain gender or race.”
Furthermore, Bader claimed that “racial quotas in discipline or arrests are unconstitutional.”
Being a police officer is difficult enough. Adding these absurd conditions will waste the time of both the officer and the person who is not accused of misconduct but must be stopped so that an officer can comply with the misguided legislation’s requirements.