News from Representative Larson

Dear Friends, 

For too long, systemic racism has led to injustice and even death for Black Americans. As we grieve we know we must act, because we cannot let this stand. Last night, led by the Congressional Black Caucus, we in the House of Representatives passed a bill with unprecedented and meaningful police reforms. This shouldn’t be a partisan issue. This bill takes bold action to create actual change in the way policing occurs in this country. Mitch McConnell and the Trump Administration need to stop dragging their feet and do something! 

As my good friend, Vietnam veteran, and former Hartford Councilman Steve Harris said, “All lives matter, but right now Black Lives Matter! People of color are being killed on TV and on body cams. People of color are considered suspects all the time. These problems are not new. What’s going on now is no different than when John Lewis marched in the 1960’s. This is about race! All cops aren’t bad, and all Black men aren’t a threat. Police reform is needed, and it should be nationally led and driven…” Steve is both prescient and right.   

I’m proud to have voted for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to take that first step forward and transform the culture of policing. This bill isn’t a panacea to ending the 400+ years of systemic racism, but it’s a start.  

The Justice in Policing Act would:  

1) Ban racial and religious profiling; 

2) Save lives by banning chokeholds & no-knock warrants; 

3) De-militarize the police; 

4) Hold police accountable in court; 

5) Investigate police misconduct; 

6) Empower our communities to reimagine public safety in an equitable and just way; 

7) Change the culture of law enforcement with training to build integrity and trust; 

8) Improve transparency by collecting data on police misconduct and use-of-force. 

This week I also held a virtual Community Conversation on Racism and Police Reform. I was joined by State Representative Brandon McGee, President and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Hartford David Hopkins, and youth from the Greater Hartford Youth Leadership Academy at Hartford Communities that Care, Inc., and their leaders Eddie Brown and Andrew Woods. It was a productive conversation. I appreciated the youth leaders’ comments and questions.  They are the future of our country. If you missed the conversation, you can watch here.  This was the second conversation I participated in, earlier in the month I joined the Voices of Women of Color.  

Thank you for taking the time to read this update. If you need assistance with a federal agency, please do not hesitate to contact me here.  

John B. Larson
Member of Congress


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