Metro Weekly

Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus endorses resolution condemning police brutality

Resolution calls for end to racial profiling and excessive force, and additional oversight to hold police accountable

Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus

U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee – Photo: Shawn Miller/Library of Congress, via Wikimedia.

The Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus has announced its support for a congressional resolution condemning police brutality and calling for greater accountability and oversight of police.

The resolution, introduced by U.S. Reps. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), condemns racial profiling, the use of excessive force by police officers, and militarized policing practices. It also calls for greater accountability measures, including urging the Department of Justice to investigate individual instances of police brutality, racial profiling, or alleged violations of civil rights by police departments, and encouraging the establishment of independent, all-civilian review boards that would investigate incidents of alleged police misconduct.

“I am proud to announce the Caucus’ support of the police brutality resolution put forth by four Congressional leaders who we are proud to call members of our Caucus,” Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.), co-chair of the Equality Caucus, said in a statement. “We are proud to stand with you in your call to demand justice and condemn police brutality, which often disproportionately targets Black people, Black trans women, and queer people of color.

“George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and the countless other Black Americans who died at the hands of police deserve justice, and the officers involved in their death must face accountability,” Takano added. “In order to achieve this, Congress must pass legislation to enact real reform that can transform our justice system and offer true accountability for police misconduct.

“This Pride Month, it’s more important than ever to honor the history of the LGBTQ+ equality movement — we have made progress in the fight for equality because of the activism of Black trans women and queer people of color,” Takano said. “The celebration of our identity and our fight for equality has always been about resistance to a government that has denied us our rights, so as the Black community continues to demand justice in America, we must stand with them.”

“George Floyd’s death shocked our nation to its core. The United States Congress must now make clear that there is no room for police brutality in our country,” Equality Caucus co-chair Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) added. “I am pleased that the Equality Caucus is throwing its weight behind this important measure. I look forward to voting on it on the floor of the House.”

“I am happy that the LGBTQ+ Caucus is endorsing the House Resolution condemning all acts of police brutality, racial profiling and excessive use of force,” Lee said in a statement. “We have seen far too many young men and women of color murdered by police, for as little as driving their car, riding public transportation, having a cell phone, or just being in their own homes. Police officers are supposed to defuse violence — not inflict it on black and brown communities. The LGBTQ+ community has endured similar experiences in police misconduct from the raid on the Stonewall Inn to the [1969] beating of Howard Efland. We must unite together to ensure that the majority of police officers conduct their work in a professional and unbiased manner, to restore public trust.”

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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